Japan's Hidden Arms Trade. March 2005.
The essential problem when analysing Japan‟s adherence to its “no arms trade” policy is the lack of transparency in the reporting of the export licences that have been granted for goods used in the defence industry. Although Japan makes annual submissions to UN databases regarding its exports, these submissions are voluntary and, as can be seen from the Comtrade data above, do not always tally with what other countries claim to be receiving from Japan. More importantly, unlike many other countries such as Germany, Finland, UK or USA the Japanese government provides no annual report detailing the licences that it has granted for arms or goods used in the defence industry. This means that the Japanese public and press has no access to information concerning what defence goods may have been exported and whether these exports comply with the spirit or the letter of a policy banning arms exports.