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With China looming, Japan lifts weapons exports ban

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Japanese companies will manufacture parts for the F-35, the country's next-generation fighter aircraft.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The Japanese government relaxed rules on weapons exports Tuesday, ending a decades-old blanket ban at a time when it seeks to deepen security partnerships with the U.S. as well as Asian nations contending with China's maritime advances.

     The new rules permit exports if rigorous reviews find that they would contribute to international peace or help strengthen Japan's security. States subject to United Nations arms embargoes are excluded.

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