Japan Eases Ban On Weapons Exports To Lower Costs

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TOKYO (AP) — Japan is easing its decades-long arms export ban in a bid to lower purchase and production costs fro weapons and take part in global arms projects.

Top government spokesman Osamu Fujimura said Tuesday that the new rules will allow Japan to jointly develop and sell arms with other countries. Japan already has eased the ban in projects with the United States, its biggest ally. The latest change extends the exception to other defense partners, including European nations and Australia.

The exception to the arms export ban dating back to 1967 applies only to projects contributing to Japan’s security and global peace. Fujimura said Japan maintains its pacifist principles prohibiting arms use in global conflicts.

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