According to Kyuma, joint missile defense research with the US and the costliness of developing weapons in one country (i.e., kokusanka) are the main reasons pushing Japan to consider loosening restrictions on arms exports.
It seems, however, that Kyuma’s remarks were indicative of the Abe Cabinet’s opening yet another front in the war to roll back the limits on Japan’s defense policy. Chief Cabinet Secretary Shiozaki denied that Kyuma’s remarks signal a policy change by the government.
But is Shiozaki’s denial strategic or tactical? Does the Abe Cabinet really have no designs on the arms export principles, or is it postponing the issue to a time when the agenda is slightly less crowded?
Given Abe’s “revolutionary” bent, I strongly doubt that it’s the former.