Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology

Japan had dealt with arms exports in a careful manner in accordance with the Three Principles of Arms Exports and their related policy guidelines (hereinafter referred to as “the Three Principles”). In December 2011, statement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary on Guidelines for Overseas Transfer of Defense Equipment, etc. put in place the exemption from the Three Principles based on the premise of strict control, with regard to peace contribution and international cooperation, and cases regarding international joint development and production of defense equipment that contributes to Japanʼs security. However, the above-mentioned Guidelines were not applied to the range of production participation, including F-35 fighter by domestic industries in international logistics and support systems, and Japanʼs decision of providing 10 thousand bullets to the United Nations from a GSDF unit in PKO in South Sudan (UNMISS). Therefore, Statement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary was issued individually to deal with these cases outside the Three Principles.

In light of these situations, the Government of Japan formulated the ʻThree Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technologyʼ and its implementation guidelines based on the National Security Strategy in April 2014. These clarified the more concrete standards, procedures and limitation in a transparent manner.

Based on the Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology, the MOD/SDF further devotes itself to the promotion on peace contribution and international cooperation as well as actively promotes necessary measures to protect Japanʼs security while maintaining regional peace and stability through cooperation in defense equipment and technology with the United States and other countries. Japan will continue to realize effective defense equipment and technology cooperation through strengthening of information gathering such as what counterparts want to obtain, cooperation including assistance for maintenance and repair of equipment, and strengthening of cooperative posture between the public and private sectors.