Japan imported more arms from the United States under
the Foreign Military Sales program than any other Asian
country last year, according to data published by the
U.S. Defense Department's Defense Security Cooperation
Agency. In terms of money spent, Japan was the United
States' largest arms buyer after Greece.
According to the data, Japan spent 1.3 billion dollars
(about 135 billion yen) on U.S. arms last year. Japan
also made deals worth a further 800 million dollars,
making it the third-largest prospective buyer of U.S.
arms in the world after Poland and Egypt. Between 1996
and 1999, Japan was the United States' third-largest
arms buyer in Asia, but since 2000, it has ranked
Amid a realignment of the U.S. armed forces in Asia,
U.S. arms exports to South Korea and Taiwan have
decreased, while those to Japan have increased, making
Japan the top Asian importer of arms. Weapons sold under
the program include those rated highly restricted that
cannot be traded through commercial channels. Japan has
tentative deals to purchase weapon components such as
early-warning aircraft and surface-to-air missiles.