Komeito Conditionally OK’s Defense Equipment Transfer to Third Countries

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Komeito headquarters

Komeito, the ruling coalition partner of the Liberal Democratic Party, has approved — with conditions — the export to third countries of defense equipment Japan develops jointly with other countries, Komeito Vice Representative Kazuo Kitagawa told reporters Thursday.

Kitagawa said the next-generation fighter aircraft that Japan is developing with the United Kingdom and Italy “will not be unconditionally approved for export” from Japan, but “we have to make sure that [export restrictions] do not become an obstacle to joint development,” implying the party’s stance that exports may be possible depending on the conditions.

The LDP and Komeito are currently discussing the easing of export restrictions on defense equipment, and the handling of equipment jointly developed with other countries has been an agenda issue.

The government wants to export used F-15 fighter jet engines to Indonesia, but current regulations do not allow it. Kitagawa said, “We need to review restrictions for exports if there is demand for the parts.”