Tokyo [Japan], May 22 (ANI): The Japanese government has issued a warning to Sumitomo Heavy Industries Ltd. and a subcontracted firm after the latter leaked blueprints for parts of a military-use prototype machine gun to a Chinese company, local media reported citing government spokesperson.
Sumitomo Heavy Industries, a Japanese company, is a manufacturer of industrial machinery, automatic weaponry, ships, bridges and steel structure etc.
According to Japan Times, the warning was issued last month by the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry on the grounds that the subcontractor had violated Japan's foreign exchange and trade control law.
The weapons were to be procured for the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) if selected in a tender.
"It is regrettable that such a case has occurred, and we will endeavour to deal with it appropriately," Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, the government's top spokesman, said at a news conference on Thursday.
Sumitomo Heavy had bid in the tender opened by the GSDF in fiscal 2019 to procure the machine guns but withdrew its participation in March as the number of guns to be produced was small and the project lacked business prospects.
In order to manufacture prototypes of the weapon ahead of its adoption, some component blueprints given to the subcontractor were provided to a Chinese firm without authorisation.
The subcontractor has told Sumitomo Heavy it was not aware the parts were for weapons.
The company has pledged to enforce thorough oversight of its subcontractors moving forward. (ANI)