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Although I agree that Japan should keep its traditional ban on weapons exports, I can’t help thinking that some of us surely realized we’d reach this crossroads when we decided to cooperate with the United States in developing new weapons systems.

The U.S. is our most important ally in the world. Especially since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, we have reconfirmed which country we can trust in time of disaster.

Yet, we should understand that the U.S. is fighting three wars, one of which — the Afghan War — is the longest in its history, and that its debt load is huge. It’s quite natural that it would try to sell the sophisticated technology of the newly developed SM-3 Block IIA anti-missile missile to raise additional revenue. If we had deliberated it in the Diet, we might not have endorsed the transfer of the missile. If, however, we had rejected the U.S. in this way following the Futenma air base relocation issue, it would have disappointed our ally terribly. Would this be a good thing, when we are surrounded by China, Russia and North Korea?

China is increasing its claims to islands in neighboring waters and strengthened its maritime forces, while Russia has tried to accomplish its occupation of our Northern Territories. We should face our harsh reality as well as that of the U.S.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

satoshi sato

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