Japan considering review of defense equipment transfer principles

Japan's defense minister has suggested a review of the country's principles on the transfer of defense equipment abroad, in order to support countries under aggression such as Ukraine.

Hamada Yasukazu spoke to reporters on Friday, the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

He said the overseas transfer of defense equipment is an important policy tool to support countries facing aggression in breach of international law.

Hamada suggested that his ministry will study possible revisions to Japan's three principles on the transfer of defense equipment and technology, and to associated guidelines to implement the principles.

Hamada said tolerating Russia's aggression would send the wrong message that unilateral changes to the status quo through the use of force is acceptable in other regions, including the Indo-Pacific.

He said Japan needs to continue acting in unity with the international community and respond firmly to Russia's actions.

The defense minister explained that Japan has provided bulletproof vests, helmets and other non-lethal aid to Ukraine upon its request. He stressed that the country will continue extending as much assistance as possible.