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Japan ruling party eyes deal on easing weapons export rules by summer

Debate seen ramping up as G-7 plans greater assistance to Ukraine

A member of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force rides a howitzer equipped vehicle during a drill in May 2022. Current guidelines ban Japan from exporting arms to countries facing a conflict -- such as Ukraine. (Pool photo/Reuters)

TOKYO -- Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party plans to resume debate on updating the country's restrictions on weapons transfers this week toward reaching an agreement this summer, as Group of Seven leaders at their summit in Hiroshima vowed to extend further assistance to Ukraine.

National security dominated the agenda on Sunday, the last day of the summit, after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived in Japan to attend the talks. G-7 leaders in a communique said they would uphold and reinforce "the free and open international order based on the rule of law." U.S. President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced plans to provide training to Ukrainian pilots for U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets.

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