Japan’s arms procurement after the Cold War

Authored by: Brad Williams

The Global Arms Trade

Print publication date:  December  2009
Online publication date:  May  2014

Print ISBN: 9781857434972
eBook ISBN: 9780203851456
Adobe ISBN:


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Arms procurement in post-war Japan has been shaped primarily by two principles: indigenization (kokusanka) and anti-militarism. The former prioritizes the domestic development of defence equipment over licensed production and imports, while the latter, characterized as an aversion to the military establishment and the use of military force to resolve international disputes (see Berger 1993), has been manifested in a number of policies that have served to limit arms production. Japan has, then, not typically been a major importer and exporter of defence equipment. However, several international and domestic developments that have emerged following the end of the Cold War have created momentum for a revision of key elements of this restrictive policy, thereby raising expectations among some domestic actors who favour Japan assuming a more prominent role in the global arms market.

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