The Abe administration plans to ditch the nation’s long-standing three-point weapons-export ban by writing a new three-point principle governing the export of weapons. The new policy would turn Japan into a weapons-exporting country. A departure from Japan’s traditional security posture characterized by self-restraint, such a move would damage the international trust and reputation Japan has earned through its strict restriction on weapons exports. Ultimately this step will raise regional tensions, thus reducing Japan’s national security.
The new weapons-export policy could also result in Japanese weapons being used in international conflicts, thus making Japan an indirect party to such conflicts. This would be antithetical to the spirit of Article 9 of the Constitution, which renounces the use of forces as a means of settling international disputes and has served as the cornerstone of Japan’s security policy. As such, the Abe administration should maintain the weapons-export ban.