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Under a new basic policy on official development assistance (ODA) adopted by the Abe administration last week, Japan will be able to extend aid to the armed forces of recipient countries on condition that the aid be used only for nonmilitary purposes.

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said that the new policy has only clarified the past practice of providing help to other countries’ armed forces in such matters as disaster rescue operations. But his explanation hides the risks it carries.

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