Statement regarding Australian Submarine race

We welcome Japan’s “defeat” in Australian Submarine race, but call for all the arms trade

On April 26, Australian Prime Minister Turnbull revealed that they selected French company DCNS for Australia’s future submarine project. That means Japan who had been putting effort to win the race with public partners failed to sell their submarines. As we NAJAT has been working to stop Japan’s arms export, we welcome this result.

As one of the top executives​ of Marine Defense Force said ‘the cabinet came into our office’ , the Abe Administration​ harshly goes the way to becoming a ‘merchant of death’, but it failed for now. If it won the race, Japan’s arms trade would be accelerated even more. Austrian NGO mentioned ‘exporting Japanese submarines would ruin Japan’s long-standing policy of anti-arms trade and would allow the emergence of new military-industry complex’. Furthermore, if Japan made a deal with Australia, that may have worsened the geopolitical confrontation in Asia pacific and accelerate​ arms race among Asia-pacific countries. Therefore, Japan’s failure has meaningful to stop the vicious circle of arms race.

On the other hand, it is problematic that the Australian Government strengthens its submarine program. Australian activist Denis Doherty told us that “this is exorbitant spending while social needs are neglected”. We have to espcape from the vicious circle of arms trade and must establish the mechanisms for peace to turn the pacific ocean peaceful ocean.

The Abe administration abolished the ‘the principles of arms trade (which prohibits arms trade)’ on April 1 2014. They must be accused of ignoring the public opinion against arms trade, and should examine their position.

We NAJAT call the Japanese government to halt all the arms trade and military development. If we allow Japanese government to sell arms, arms made in Japan would kill people around the world. We must expel the Abe administration and calls for the revisit of the principles of arms trade. It is Japan’s role who maintains the article 9 to stop all the arms trade in the world.

We also like to strengthen our network with Australia and France to stop arms trade. We will continue to work to achieve peace and stop arms trade.

April 29 2016
NAJAT (Network Against Japan arms trade)