TOKYO (AP) — Japan and Britain have agreed to develop defense weapons together in Tokyo’s first such deal outside of its security alliance with the United States.
Japan has cooperated exclusively with the U.S. on missile shield development under a long-standing security alliance. Easing its decades-long weapons export ban in December allowed Japan to extend the exception to other defense partners, including European nations and Australia.
Prime Minsiter Yoshihiko Noda and his British counterpart David Cameron agreed Tuesday to start joint research, development and production of defense equipment. They said they will find at least one program soon in areas that will contribute to security and peace.
Japan maintains its pacifist principles in prohibiting export of Japanese-made weapons for use in global conflicts.