Japan's Slow Entry in to the Arms Market Begins at Sea

A greater East Asia bulwark against Chinese Hegemony?

Unlike Germany and Italy, Japan has been much slower to get back in to the military game outside its borders. Much of that derives from the constitutional restrictions we put in their new government after WWII. With that are the habits generations of Japanese leaders have developed when looking at this area and are comfortable with.

Slowly, that is changing. Especially as memories fade of Japanese occupation, and a sober appreciation of the very real threat from China, each year brings more details.

Here's the latest move

The government is considering exporting the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s destroyer to Indonesia, according to informed sources.

Negotiations on the export are underway with the Indonesian government, the sources said.

A successful destroyer deal, if struck, would provide momentum for Japan’s exports of defense equipment and help realize the country’s initiative to make the Indo-Pacific region free and open, the sources said.

More steps need to be taken in Japan to make this happen;

Japan’s three principles on defense equipment transfers, adopted by the Cabinet in 2014, allow exports of equipment that will be used for life-saving, transportation, vigilance and surveillance activities, or minesweeping.

“Exporting a destroyer will not be easy (in light of the principles) because the ship has not only warning and surveillance functions but attack capabilities,” a senior Defense Ministry official said.

But the export may be possible if it is made for the purpose of joint ship development with a foreign country, the official added.

In fiscal 2015, the ministry set up the Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency for uniform control of exports of defense equipment.

But the agency had failed to arrange equipment exports until it worked out in August this year a deal to ship four radars to the Philippines.

I support this for a variety of reasons, top most would be that it is in our interest for regional cooperation as a bulwark against China. The Japanese can play a significant role in this, and military ties would bring them closer.

Additionally would be the military effectiveness this will bring to nations that are no threat to us. The Japanese build quality kit, most of which the USA could help support if needed.  

Good. All good.

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