Japan may lift ban on arms sales to U.N.

JIJI

The government is considering enabling supply of defense equipment to the United Nations and other international organizations as part of its rethink of the country’s arms export ban, sources said Wednesday.

The plan is under study based on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policy of making Japan a “proactive contributor to peace,” the sources said.

After consultations with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its ruling bloc ally, New Komeito, Abe’s team hopes to include the plan in its new arms export guidelines next month, the sources said.

In 2011, Japan made defense supplies to other nations an exception in the arms export ban in a statement by then-Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura of the Democratic Party of Japan, now an opposition party, if the exports are deemed to contribute to peace and promote international cooperation. The statement did not include international organizations as recipients.