(Asahi: November 25, 2015 – p. 4)
By Isamu Nikaido
The government is looking into exporting training aircraft previously used by the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) to the Philippines, a government official involved in the matter disclosed. Last year the Abe administration repealed Japan’s three principles regarding arms exports and decided to introduce the new Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology, which conditionally allow Japan to export armaments. If the plan is realized, it will be the first time for Japan to export used defense equipment.
The planes that the government is planning to export are TC-90 aircraft that the MSDF used for pilot training. The Philippine government will decide what purpose they will be used for. There is a possibility that they will be used for patrol and surveillance in the South China Sea. With China’s maritime advancement in the South China Sea in mind, the government aims to enhance cooperation with coastal countries by providing them with defense equipment and technology.