Japan Breaks from Pacifist Post-War Ideals

(TargetDailyNews.com) – In what observers are describing as Japan’s departure from its post-WWII pacifist principles, the island nation has just given approval to start exporting warplanes to other countries.

The government’s Cabinet approved a plan to develop a military jet in cooperation with Italy and the UK. The jet is envisioned as replacing older American F-2 fighter planes and Eurofighter Typhoons. The new rules allow Japan to export military arms internationally, though the Cabinet says it has only specifically approved the development and sale of the new jet so far. This would mark the first time since the Second World War that Japan has allowed itself to export military equipment to any country.

The decision appears to be largely motivated by Japan’s military and economic interest in co-developing the new fighter jet. The joint venture with Italy and the UK is being called the Global Combat Air Program. The plan is to develop a plane with superior camouflage and sensors to outcompete planes from Russia and China.

Japan’s Cabinet said the prior rules barring the export of military arms were holding back the jet fighter project. Partners in the UK appear to agree, with Grant Shapps, U.K. defense minister, saying Japan’s rules need “updating” if the project is going to be successful.

Japan’s post-WWII constitution takes what most observers call a pacifist stance meant to prevent the country from acting out aggressive warfare as it did in the mid-20th century. But since 2014, Japan has been loosening some of its restrictions. In that year, the country agreed to export non-deadly military supplies. By December of 2023, the Cabinet made a rule change that will allow the foreign sale of lethal weapons and the components that make them up. That change applies to material Japan manufactures under license from foreign companies. A good example is the U.S. Patriot missile, which Japan makes on behalf of U.S. companies. Japan can now sell the finished missiles back to the original country under the new rules.

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