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Japan drafts revision of arms exports ban: Source

Published on Feb 23, 2014 3:08 PM
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TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan has drafted new guidelines that would reverse a decades-old ban on weapons exports, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Sunday, a move that could further strain ties with neighbours China and South Korea.

Tokyo has been reviewing the self-imposed export ban under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's new security strategy, aimed at bolstering the self-reliance of the military.

Serving as prime minister for a rare second time and enjoying solid public approval, Abe says Japan needs a stronger military to cope with what he calls an increasingly threatening security environment, with a more militarily assertive China and unpredictable North Korea.

The proposed revision could draw criticism from China and South Korea, where resentment over Japan's wartime aggression still runs deep. Beijing and Seoul also have long-running territorial disputes with Tokyo over different sets of islets.

 
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