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Howa Type 89
Country of origin


Production began


Weapon type

Assault rifle


5.56x45mm NATO



The Howa Type 89 is a assault rifle that was specifically made for the Japanese defense forces. It fires the 5.56x45mm NATO round from a 30-round magazine. Being a select-fire weapon, it has three modes of fire: semi-automatic, burst-fire, and full auto. Cost is a little bit higher than the M16 due to certain laws in Japan.


The Type 89 was developed because the older Type 64 fires the heavier 7.62mm NATO round, which makes it nearly uncontrollable in full auto, and NATO had changed its standard round to 5.56mm.

The Japanese designed a rifle with a collapsible buttstock and chambered it in the 5.56 round. At first the Type 89, like the American M16, did not have a rail system to install attachments. After Japanese soldiers' experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, though, the soldiers found it difficult to quickly acquire medium range targets with the iron sights, so some of them began to buy accessories and added the R.I.S with their money. Later, the factory released a new variant with a rail system.



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