Japan Meets Buyer Resistance in Asian Arms Market

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Alongside his “Abenomics” economic reform package, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his government have sought to reform and expand the authority of the Japanese military. This effort has mainly focused on loosening the restrictions against offensive military action imposed by Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution. However, a related effort has worked in parallel to strengthen Japan’s defense industry. In 2014 Abe lifted longstanding restrictions on Japanese arms exports. The Cipher Brief’s Fritz Lodge asked Vice President of the Daniel Morgan Graduate School and former U.S. diplomat in Japan Dr. Thomas Cynkin about what opportunities – and obstacles – lie ahead for Japan’s defense industry.

The Cipher Brief: Why have major Japanese defense contracts – such as the proposed $40 billion sale of Japanese submarines to Australia – fallen though since the relaxation of the arms export ban in 2014?

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