Japan on Tuesday eased its strict defense equipment transfer rules to allow the worldwide export of next-generation fighter jets that it is jointly developing with Britain and Italy, removing a hurdle for the trilateral project.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's Cabinet approved the updated guidelines of the "three principles on transfer of defense equipment and technology" after his ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner, the Komeito party, agreed on the revised export rules on March 15.

The revised rules stipulate that Japan can export the fighter jets, which the three governments aim to deploy by 2035, to a third nation, while the warplanes will never be transferred to a nation where conflict is taking place.