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Joint Press Release with the Cabinet Secretariat, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of DefenseThe Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology

On April 1, the Government of Japan, in accordance with the National Security Strategy adopted on December 17, 2013, set out “the Three Principles of Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology” as a set of new principles on overseas transfer of defense equipment and technology, which replace “the Three Principles on Arms Exports and Their Related Policy Guidelines”.

1. Intents of the new Principles

Surrounded by an increasingly severe security environment, it has become essential for Japan to make more proactive efforts in line with the principle of international cooperation. Japan cannot secure its own peace and security by itself, and the international community expects Japan to play a more proactive role for peace and stability in the world commensurate with its national capabilities. Against this backdrop, Japan will contribute even more proactively in securing peace, stability and prosperity of the international community, while achieving its own security as well as peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, as a “Proactive Contributor to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation.

From the viewpoint of achieving the fundamental principle of national security by implementing concrete policies, the Government of Japan decided to review the Government’s existing policy guidelines on overseas transfer of defense equipment and technology, and set out clear principles which fit the new security environment by consolidating the policy guidelines comprehensively with consideration on the past exemption measures while giving due consideration to the roles that the existing policy guidelines have played so far.

2. Main Contents of the Principles

While maintaining its basic philosophy as a peace-loving nation that conforms to the Charter of the United Nations and the course it has taken as a peace-loving nation, Japan will control the overseas transfer of defense equipment and technology based on the Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology. Main contents of the Principles are as follows;

(1) Clarification of cases where transfers are prohibited (the First Principle)

Overseas transfer of defense equipment and technology will not be permitted when:

  1. the transfer violates obligations under treaties and other international agreements that Japan has concluded,
  2. the transfer violates obligations under United Nations Security Council resolutions, or
  3. the defense equipment and technology is destined for a country party to a conflict (a country against which the United Nations Security Council is taking measures to maintain or restore international peace and security in the event of an armed attack).

(2) Limitation to cases where transfers may be permitted as well as strict examination and information disclosure (the Second Principle)

In cases not within (1) above, cases where transfers may be permitted will be limited to the following cases. Those cases will be examined strictly while ensuring transparency.
The transfer contributes

  1. to active promotion of peace contribution and international cooperation, or
  2. Japan’s security.

    Significant cases that require especially careful consideration from the viewpoint of Japan’s security will be examined at the National Security Council (NSC). As for the cases that were deliberated at the NSC, the Government will disclose their information in accordance with the Act on Access to Information Held by Administrative Organs (Law No. 42 of 1999).

(3) Ensuring appropriate control regarding extra-purpose use or transfer to third parties (the Third Principle)

In cases satisfying (2) above, overseas transfer of defense equipment and technology will be permitted only in cases where appropriate control is ensured. More concretely, the Government will in principle oblige the Government of the recipient country to gain its prior consent regarding extra-purpose use and transfer to third parties.
The Government of Japan will contribute even more actively to the peace and stability of the international community as a “Proactive Contributor to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation. Under such a policy, it will play a proactive role in the area of controlling defense equipment and technology as well as sensitive dual-use goods and technologies to achieve the early entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty and further strengthen the international export control regimes.

Reference

Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology(PDF:27KB) PDF File

Implementation Guidelines for the Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology(PDF:42KB) PDF File

Release Date

April 1, 2014

Division in Charge

Security Export Control Policy Division, Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau

Related Information

Trade Control
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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