Japan is the only country in the Group of Seven unable to send lethal weapons to Ukraine, but momentum is growing for a full-fledged overhaul of existing guidelines on the export of defense equipment.

Last week the ruling coalition agreed to hold talks on the matter around the end of this month, but the road ahead is paved with obstacles, ranging from public opposition to disagreements between the Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito.

Last December, a minor amendment to the guidelines, enacted on the premise that Ukraine has been subject to a violation of international law, allowed Japan to provide Kyiv with protective equipment such as vests, masks and helmets. This time, the government is looking to further broaden the scope of exports to include lethal weapons, a move that would bring Japan in line with its European and North American allies.