Japan may make its weapons easier to export – potentially to Ukraine, too – Technology Org

Did you know that Japan’s armed forces are actually called Japan Self-Defense Forces? This is by design, because after the Second World War and the American military occupation that followed, Japan rejected the war as an instrument of international relations and promised to never maintain a military. But things change quickly.

Japan is the only operator of its Type 10 main battle tank.

Japan is the only operator of its Type 10 main battle tank. Image credit: T.Goto – 自分 via Wikimedia

The Japan Self-Defense Forces were founded in 1954 and were a tricky thing to establish. As the US-led military occupation ended in 1952, Japan was left with a question of defense. This was a difficult question to answer, because in the Constitution, which came into effect in 1947 Japan stated that its people “forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes”.

In the same Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, it is said that “land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be sustained.” It needs to be said – this constitution was imposed by the US in order to remove the threat of Japan for the foreseeable future, but this constitution didn’t lose its powers.

The Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution was reinterpreted multiple times to allow Japan to at least have some self-defense forces. However, Japan is still rejecting the choice of war as a means of international relations.

In other words, Japan would only participate in a war if it had to – as in if it was attacked. In 2014 that article of the constitution was reinterpreted again to allow Japan to participate in defending its international allies. However, military exports are still a tricky subject, because Japan simply rejects war.

What does the proposed Japan’s policy change look like?

Japan is the only operator of its impressive Type 10 main battle tank. It is also the only operator of the Type 16 maneuver combat vehicle (basically, a wheeled infantry fighting vehicle). Both of them are amazing machines, made in Japan, but they are not exported. That is quite a commitment, because exports would help Japan reduce the cost per unit.

Type 16 maneuver combat vehicle armed with a 105 gun.

Type 16 maneuver combat vehicle armed with a 105 gun. Image credit: Hunini via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Defense Express reports that Japan’s government proposed to expand the weapons export conditions with an ability to supply weapons to countries that are defending themselves against external aggression. For example, Ukraine.

This policy change would allow Japan to increase its weight in international politics. Now Japan is the only G7 member that does not provide military aid to Ukraine. However, it needs to be noted that sociological polls show that 76% of Japanese people do not see the need to export weapons to Ukraine.

Japan could also provide Ukraine with some of its non-native-made weapons and ammunition, but that is not an easy question either. It doesn’t concern just Ukraine – Taiwan could also use some of Japan’s military tech.

In any case, these legislations will take a long time to discuss and approve. Especially because an increase in international presence in such conflicts would also increase threats against Japan.

Sources: Wikipedia , Defense-ua.com

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