Tokyo, March 16 (SocialNews.XYZ) Hundreds of Japanese gathered outside the venue of a military equipment fair near Tokyo to protest Japan's move to intensify its arms trade.
The three-day event, or DSEI Japan 2023, kicked off on Wednesday at the convention centre of Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, Xinhua news agency reported.
"No war!" "No war preparation!" "Say no to traders of death!" More than 300 people, in strong protest against Japan's intensified weapons trading, shouted slogans at the gathering, which was followed by a protest speech.
The crowd lay on the ground after the speech, in an attempt to oppose the trade of weapons in a country that boasts of "exclusive defence" using the "body language of death".
"After 2027, Japan's defence spending will account for 2 per cent of its gross domestic products, making it the world's third largest defence-spending nation. It will also have counterattack capabilities, which makes the Constitution null and void," said Koji Sugihara, representative of the Network Against Japan Arms Trade, a local citizen's group.
"Japan's active participation in and promotion of this arms trade show is an act to feed inter-state conflicts, which violates not only the 'Three Principles on Defence Equipment Transfers' but also Article 9 of the Constitution," he added.
"It really makes people feel very dangerous that a country that boasts of 'exclusive defence' is showing weapons of destruction while actively developing a new generation of fighter jet with Britain and Italy," Kimie Nakamura, a member of the Chiba City Assembly, told Xinhua after visiting the fair.
A new-generation fighter jet jointly developed by Japan, Britain and Italy was highlighted in the VR showroom of the fair, where visitors could experience a simulated operation.
Held for the second time since 2019, the fair this year saw an escalated scale by featuring 250 military equipment companies from 65 countries, an increase of about 100 companies from the 2019 level.
The participants were lured by Japan's surging defence outlays. In December last year, the Japanese government approved three updated documents on its security and defence policies and intended to secure about $313 billion in defence spending for the five years from fiscal 2023.
Japan's arms exports have been accelerating since 2014 when the "Three Principles on Arms Exports" were replaced by the "Three Principles on Defence Equipment Transfers," which in principle lifted the ban on arms exports.
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