November 27th Russian Strategic Culture Foundation published an article entitled “Japan will enter the world arms market – Japan’s discussion on rebuilding a strong military industry sector is no longer whispering, but a loud announcement”. The author is a professor at the Russian Oriental National Institute. Anatoly Koshkin, Ph.D. in History. The full text is excerpted as follows:
According to the post-war peace constitution, the Japanese authorities were forced to implement a de facto ban on the export of arms and military technology. This has aroused the dissatisfaction of those who are trying to rebuild the military industry and want to participate in the lucrative international arms trade. In April 2014, the Japanese government lifted the arms export ban and added that “weapons will not be exported to countries in a state of military conflict or subject to United Nations Security Council sanctions”. In order to pass the bill, the Diet of Japan “interpreted” that arms would be exported only if it was “good for the cause of peace and to ensure Japan’s security”.
Today, Japan focuses on the supply of weapons and equipment to Asia-Pacific countries, which is hardly considered “good for the cause of peace”.
In conversations with many Japanese politicians and politicians, the author has repeatedly heard them say that the arms trade is an indispensable respite for Japan’s economy, which has been stagnating for many years. To clarify that Japan has absolutely no intention of fighting any country, they explained that this refers to the establishment of a strong military-industrial union in Japan. The sector will be the engine of economic growth and enhance Japan’s growing influence in the region and the world against the backdrop of China’s rapid rise.
Regarding the question that the weapons produced in Japan may not be competitive in price compared with those of the United States and Russia due to their high cost, the author was told that this problem will only appear in the first stage of entering the market. Because the Japanese side envisions that with the widespread use of robotics technology in the mass production of weapons, the cost of Japanese military products will be significantly reduced.
The above-mentioned Japanese politicians and political scientists also appeased me on the issue of actively modifying the peace constitution in Japan. They explained that this move was purely for economic considerations. They said that the acquisition of constitutional legitimacy by the Japanese armed forces will help Japan get rid of the practice of buying expensive weapons from foreign countries, mainly the United States, and strengthen its defense industry.
If the discussion about rebuilding a strong military-industrial complex in Japan in the past was still whispering, they are now talking about this goal loudly. Some Japanese media admitted: “Japan’s arms exports also help to complete the task of protecting and maintaining the Japanese military industry when the supply of weapons in the Indo-Pacific region is almost monopolized by the United States.”