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The 21st Asian Export Control Seminar was Held

From February 26 to 28, 2014, the Asian Export Control Seminar was held in Tokyo by the Center for Information on Security Trade Control (CISTEC) as organizer, jointly with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOF) as co-organizers. The seminar marked its 21st anniversary this year, with about 150 people from 15 Asian countries and regions, major Western countries, the United Nations Security Council and multilateral export control regimes (MECR) attending.

1. Background of the seminar

In 1993, the Asian Export Control Seminar was inaugurated for persons in charge of export control in Asian countries and regions, aiming at stepping up Asian and international efforts toward non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by raising common awareness of the importance of such non-proliferation and export control over such weapons across Asia and by consolidating the export control capabilities there.

At this 21st seminar, participants exchanged views, focusing particularly on [i] the relationship between export control and trade investment, [ii] challenges for formulating a domestic law for controlling exports, [iii] the current state of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), and [iv] challenges for executing the export control system.

2. Outline of the seminar

1) Participants

The seminar was held with about 150 people from 15 Asian countries and regions, major Western countries, panels from the UN Security Council, MECRs and research institutes attending.

2) Details of the seminar

Welcome speech

A welcome speech was presented by Mr. Ryosei Tanaka, Parliamentary Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry. In his speech, from a historical viewpoint, he mentioned the significance of appropriate trade control for economic growth, taking security into consideration, as well as the importance of developing global partnerships as export control cannot be effective without collaboration among all of the member countries.

Following Parliamentary Vice Minister Tanaka’s speech, Mr. Mitsuru Kitano, Director-General of the Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Science Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, welcomed the participants. In his speech, he stated the importance of export control, as was pointed out at the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit Meeting in December 2013 and during the policy speech delivered by Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister of Foreign Affairs, in January 2014, and Japan’s intention to continue its efforts toward enhancing export control in Asia.

Recent international situation

Concerning the topics of export control as a facilitator of trade and investment, challenges for international regimes as well as for formulating domestic laws concerning the UN sanctions, and the current situations surrounding the ATT, Ambassador Philip Griffiths, Head of Secretariat, Wassenaar Arrangement (WA), presented a speech, followed by those delivered by experts in the fields and related officials from the member countries, which provided participants with a valuable opportunity to develop a common understanding about the recent international situations in the export control area.

Challenges for export control, e.g., examination on export, outreach activities, and transit, transshipment and mediating services of cargoes

A session was held focusing on the recent topics, including examination on exports, challenges for outreach activities to the industrial field, universities, and research institutes, and challenges for transit, transshipment and mediating services of cargoes. Concerning these topics, officials from governments and research institutes of the member countries made presentations about their initiatives for solving the challenges found in the topics, which provided participants who endeavor to solve such common challenges among the countries with a significant opportunity to show specific models to follow.

Breakout sessions

Breakout sessions (sessions mainly for holding small-group discussions) exchanged views on the themes presented on the first day of the seminar, namely, challenges for examination of exports, challenges for outreach activities to the industrial field, universities and research institutes, and issues regarding transit, transshipment and mediating services of cargoes. Concerning these themes, participants introduced their initiatives and the challenges that they are facing, besides presentations made by officials from the member countries and organizations. The audience highly appraised such efforts for sharing best practices and enhancing human networks among such participants.

Facility tour in Japan

The seminar conducted a tour visiting facilities in Japan in cooperation with Tokyo Customs. In the tour, the cooperative relationship between the seminar and related organizations for conducting non-proliferation and export control efforts of Japan was introduced to the visitors.

Presentations held by international organizations and experts in academic sectors on awareness of the international situation

Officials and experts from MECR, three panels from the UN Security Council, and the World Customs Organization (WCO) delivered speeches on activities aiming at enhanced non-proliferation of weapons in all Asian regions, which provided participants with a good opportunity to recognize the importance of such efforts for non-proliferation of weapons from a multilateral viewpoint.

3) Results of the seminar and future efforts

Through the seminar, participants from Asian regions seemed to actively gain increased awareness on export control and develop communication with participants from other areas to expand networks of people in charge of the matters.

METI will continue to make efforts for such Asian countries and regions through outreach activities, such as this seminar, as a part of non-proliferation efforts in Asia and the rest of the world.

3. Participant countries, regions and organizations

1) Asian countries: 15 countries and regions

The People's Republic of Bangladesh, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the People's Republic of China, India, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Republic of the Philippines, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Taiwan, the Kingdom of Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam

2) Cooperating countries: 11 countries and regions

Australia, the European Union, the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, the United Mexican States, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Republic of Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America

3) Cooperating organizations: 9 organizations

The ASEAN Secretariat; Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Sweden; State University of New York, U.S.; Monterey Institute of International Studies, U.S.; Financial Action Task Force (FATF) under the OECD; WCO, and 3 panels from the UN Security Council

4) Multilateral export control regimes (MECR): 4 regimes

  • Wassenaar Arrangement (WA),
  • Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG),
  • Australia Group (AG) for the control of chemical and biological technology, and
  • Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) for the control of missile technology

Note: Please visit the following website for the agenda and materials, disclosure of which is permitted by the
presentation speakers:
http://www.simul-conf.com/outreach/2013/ecseminar/index.html external link


Parliamentary Vice Minister Tanaka delivering a welcome speech

A photo of a seminar

A photo of a breakout session

A photo of a seminar

Release Date

March 3, 2014

Division in Charge

Office of International Affairs for Security Export Control, Trade Control Department, Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau

Related Information

Trade Control
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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