• Kyodo

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Three men were arrested Wednesday for allegedly exporting equipment for making carbon fiber to China without government permission, police sources said.

The flexible fiber the equipment makes is 10 times stronger and four times lighter than steel. It can be used to make parts for centrifuges that enrich uranium as well as military aircraft. Exports of the material and the equipment to produce it are tightly controlled by the government under the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act.

The arrests are the first by the police for unauthorized exports of such equipment, the sources said.

The three men, including a company executive in Hiroshima Prefecture, are suspected of having exported the equipment to China in 2013 without approval from the trade ministry, the sources said.

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