Japanese engine parts used in Self-Defense Forces ships can be sold to the British navy because they are used by the private sector and are not necessarily treated as weapons, a government source said Sunday.

The precision parts, manufactured by Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., are used for a rotation axis for propellers in the gas turbine engines of Maritime Self-Defense Force escorts. A British naval ship will adopt the same parts, the source said.

The move raised concerns that Japan's long-standing arms embargo was being violated.