Lifting arms embargo is integral to Abe's attempt to build war-fighting Japan: Yamashita

April 2, 2014

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Yamashita Yoshiki on April 1issued a statement in protest against the new "three principles on arms exports" which the Abe Cabinet adopted earlier on the day.

The full text is as follows:

The Abe Cabinet on April 1 decided to replace the Three Principles banning Japan's arms trade with new three principles which allow blanket exports of weapons and military-related technology. Responding to the demands of the United States and the Japanese business circles for a revision of the Three Principles banning arms exports, successive governments made exceptions, such as participation in the Japan-U.S. joint development for the missile defense program and authorization of arms trade with third countries, in order to hollow out and take the teeth out of the original Principles. The Cabinet decision is totally unacceptable as it involves a momentous change of direction by abolishing the Three Principles which have been regarded as Japan's national credo for nearly a half century.

The government has repeatedly asserted in the past that the "Three Principles banning arms exports" were made in accordance with "the pacifistic spirit of the Japanese Constitution" and has been treating the Three Principles as a national credo through the Diet resolution adopted by both Houses in 1981 which confirmed that the Principles adopt a "position as a peaceful nation in line with the pacifistic idea of the Constitution." The three "new" principles state that Japan will "maintain the basic idea and the course Japan has had as a peaceful nation". However, the Cabinet decision to abandon the principles banning arms exports obviously tramples on the peace principle and spirit of the Constitution.

While banning arms exports to "countries involved in international conflict" and to countries to which arms exports violate UN resolutions", the three "new" principles remove the category of "countries likely to become involved in international conflicts" from countries previously subject to arms embargo. The government last year decided to allow exports of F-35 fighter jets, of which Japan takes part in international joint manufacturing, to countries like Israel. Furthermore, the three "new" principles include international organizations, in addition to foreign governments, as potential trading partners to which Japan can export weapons. Under the procedural guidelines for the three "new" principles, Japan can also provide repair and maintenance services abroad for U.S. military aircraft. These moves will only help increase the risk that Japan may encourage international conflicts.

The elimination of the Three Principles banning arms trade and the adoption of the three "new" principles expanding Japan's arms exports will undermine the proactive role Japan has played in opposing conflict and the international confidence Japan has won thanks to the country's policy to prohibit arms exports. The JCP severely criticizes the government decision which is integral to the Abe Cabinet's aspiration for Japan to be able to exercise the right to collective self-defense aboard in order to build a war-capable Japan.

The JCP condemns the policy as abandoning Japan's conventional position and role of a non-aggressive nation which Article 9-based Japan has been proud to proclaim to the world. Demanding that the Abe government withdraw this policy, the JCP expresses its determination to work together with the general public against the Abe government's attempt to create a war-fighting nation.

The Central Committee of the Japanese Communist Party
4-26-7 Sendagaya,Shibuya-ku,Tokyo 151-8586