Japan to lift SDF restrictions on weapons use

Kyodo

Japan plans to abolish restrictions on the type of weapons Self-Defense Forces personnel are allowed to carry, after the SDF was allowed to use land vehicles to transport people in emergency operations overseas, a government source said Friday.

Under the new rule, the list of weapons the SDF can carry will be expanded from guns, rifles and machine guns to include items that are “necessary and appropriate,” the source added.

The SDF can, in effect, use recoilless guns to defend against terrorist attacks after the government lifts the current restrictions placed in 1999.

Still, the government plans to make it necessary to obtain approval for bringing in such weapons to countries where the SDF will be dispatched, according to the source.

The government is expected to gain consent from the Liberal Democratic Party-New Komeito ruling bloc before having the rule approved by the Cabinet as early as next Friday.

The Diet passed legislation earlier in the month to revise the SDF law that previously only allowed Japanese to be transported by sea and air.