Japan plans to submit a bill to the ordinary Diet session to be convened Friday that would allow supply of the Self-Defense Forces’ (SDF) secondhand defense equipment to other countries for free or low price.
The government intends to provide secondhand SDF defense equipment mainly to member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, including the Philippines, which has a territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea.
The country aims is to enhance defense cooperation with these countries, The Guam Daily Post reported today.
Currently, Article 9 of the Public Finance Law, which specifies the management and operation of state-owned assets, prohibits supplying them for free or at a low price by stipulating that they must not be transferred without payment of a fair price.
The bill would add a special provision to the Self-Defense Forces Law to make an exception to Article 9.
The three principles on the transfer of defense equipment and technology, which were adopted by the Cabinet in April 2014, drastically eased restrictions on arms exports, but Article 9 of the Public Finance Law has restricted the exporting of secondhand defense equipment.
The government tried to lease retired Maritime Self-Defense Force TC-90 training aircraft to the Philippines last year, and the Philippines asked Japan to lease them at a low price. The two countries ultimately agreed on the lease of five TC-90 planes.