The central government is considering the creation of a financing arm for weapons exports, a move that would accelerate Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's shift away from the country's pacifist past and strengthen its regional security ties as China's military power grows.

As a first step, the government plans to convene an advisory panel to consider specific proposals to create a way to finance military sales by Japanese firms and fund defense industry cooperation abroad, according to four people involved in the matter.

One possibility to be considered is for a government-backed body to provide concessional financing for military projects modeled on the self-financing Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the sources said.