LONDON (Kyodo) The Ground Self-Defense Force is buying an assortment of Russian-made weapons to test the ballistic protection of its vehicles and body armor, according to Jane’s Defense Weekly.

The article, which appeared online Tuesday and will be published in the magazine Sept. 21, said the planned acquisition includes AK-47/AK-74 assault rifles, RPG7 rocket launchers and Dragunov SVD sniper rifles.

The purchases, which will be Japan’s first of Russian military equipment, are due to begin next fiscal year via a Japanese trading company with contacts in Russia.

The quantities involved are not yet known.

An earlier plan that involved purchasing several Russian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jets in 1999 was abandoned, due mainly to U.S. objections.

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