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The 23rd Asian Export Control Seminar was Held

From February 23 through 25, 2016, the Asian Export Control Seminar was held in Tokyo by the Center for Information on Security Trade Control (CISTEC) as an organizer, jointly with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) as co-organizers. The seminar marked its 23rd anniversary this year and was held with about 170 people from 30 countries and regions, and organizations such as international organizations and think tanks attending.

1. Background to the seminar

In 1993, the Asian Export Control Seminar was inaugurated for officials in charge of export control in Asian countries and regions, aiming at stepping up Asian and international efforts toward the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and related items by raising the common awareness of the importance of security trade controls across Asian countries and regions and by establishing and strengthening export control systems there.
At this 23rd seminar, participants exchanged their opinions on matters such as export controls and economic development, efforts for export controls made in each country, and current topics related to strategic trade control.

2. Outline of the seminar

(1) Participants

The seminar was held with about 170 people from about 30 countries and regions including the ASEAN countries, India, China, the U.S., and the EU and organizations including international organizations and think tanks attending.

(2) Details of the seminar

Opening remarks

At the beginning of the seminar, Mr. Junji Suzuki, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, gave his opening remarks and articulated that further aggravation of the environment surrounding security had been occurring, such as the nuclear tests and the ballistic missile launches by North Korea and a series of bombing attacks by terrorist groups, and that while the risks of the procurement of goods and equipment related to WMDs and conventional arms by countries of concern and terrorists in the Asia region, where the economy is growing remarkably, were rapidly increasing, it was necessary to enhance security and stability in the Asia region through the effective implementation of export controls.

Export controls and economic development

Although export control is a measure for inspecting certain exports with a view to security, it is mistakenly believed in industry that export controls impede trade and investment, which can delay the introduction of export control systems. Therefore, a panel discussion was held, and panelists discussed what advantages the implementation of export controls would bring to economic development. The panelists, (Mr. Shuzo Takada, Director-General of the Trade Control Department of the Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau of METI, Ms. Beth M. McCormick, Director of the Defense Technology Security Administration of the Department of Defense of the U.S.A, Ambassador Paul Beijer of the Department for Disarmament and Non-proliferation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Mr. Eugene Louie Gonzalez, Director of the National Terrorism Prevention Office of the Anti-Terrorism Council - Program Management Center of the Philippines, and Dr. Sibylle Bauer, Programme Director of the Dual-use and Arms Trade Control Programme at SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute)) shared their experiences regarding the increase in trust in export controls resulting from the strengthening of trade controls through public and private cooperation, risk-based implementation of regulations to achieve both security and economic development, and efforts made for promoting understanding by industry. Also, they suggested that it was important for governments and the industrial sectors of various countries to have an appropriate understanding of export controls and to strengthen efforts toward the non-proliferation of WMDs and related items while sharing necessary information.

International efforts pursuing global security

The chairpersons and head of secretariat from International Export Control Regimes and experts from the United Nations Security Council and the World Customs Organization (WCO) made presentations on activities for the procurement of goods related to WMDs conducted by countries of proliferation concern and terrorist organizations, actions taken by the International Export Control Regimes and the UN Security Council, and the outreach activities conducted by each organization, which served as an opportunity to have participants realize the importance of making efforts toward the non-proliferation of WMDs and related items on a global scale so as to prevent goods and equipment related to WMDs and conventional arms from being transferred to countries of concern and terrorist groups.

Progress in the development of export control systems in the Asia region

Some participants reported matters such as the progress in the development of export control systems by the ASEAN countries, China, India, and Pakistan and outreach activities for industry (introduction of the Internal Control Program(ICP)), which served as an opportunity for other participants to grasp the progress in the development of export control systems by Asian countries as well as an opportunity for participating countries and regions, particularly those that were considering introducing export control systems, to obtain valuable information. In addition, some participants introduced the fact that export control systems were being newly introduced in the Philippines and Thailand.

Strengthening of efforts for export controls made in industry and universities

Some participants made presentations on matters such as efforts made toward export control in industry and the importance of collaboration between governments and industry. Also, explanations on actual efforts in industry and universities regarding Intangible Technology Transfer (ITT) via e-mail and through guidance and training, which are difficult to manage, were provided, and participants shared a common understanding that it was important to make efforts for raising awareness in industry and universities.

Breakout sessions

Opinions were exchanged at breakout sessions (small-group sessions mainly for holding interactive discussions) with participants divided into three groups, namely, a group of officials in charge of policymaking, a group of licensing officials, and a group of enforcement officials. The three groups independently and proactively exchanged information on examples of efforts made in various countries and regions concerning initiatives to be taken when conducting export controls (including inter-governmental cooperation, improvement of the capabilities of licensing officers, and collaboration with industry), and this opportunity contributed to the enhancement of the networks among the participants.

Current topics related to strategic trade control

Topics on issues against which countermeasures should be strengthened in Asian countries and regions in the future, such as re-exports, transit, and transshipment, were picked up, and some participants reported their efforts to solve such issues. Explanations in which case studies were incorporated were provided, which served as an opportunity to improve participants’ understanding of these issues and to present measures to solve such issues.

3) Outcomes from the seminar

The seminar was successfully held with as many as 170 participants in total from about 30 countries and regions including the ASEAN countries, India, China, the U.S., and the EU and organizations including international organizations and think tanks attending, and they comprehensively exchanged information and opinions on various issues and efforts concerning export controls from various perspectives. Such exchanges provided the participating countries and regions with an opportunity to raise their awareness of matters, such as the need to further cooperate toward the non-proliferation of WMDs and related items so as to promote strategic trade control and the need to conduct export controls through collaboration between the public and private sectors in order to achieve economic development.
METI will continue to make efforts concerning the establishment and strengthening of export controls for Asian countries and regions through outreach activities, such as this seminar.

3. Participating countries, regions, and organizations

(1) Asian countries and regions: 19

Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, the Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, and Viet Nam

(2) Other countries and regions: 9

Australia, the European Union, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America

(3)International Export Control Regimes: 4

Australia Group (AG) for the control of chemical and biological weapons and related items
Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)
Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)
Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) for the control of conventional arms and related items

(4) International organizations, universities, etc.

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), World Custom Organization (WCO), Panel of Experts established pursuant to resolution 1874 (2009) of the United Nations Security Council, State University of New York, Gunma University, etc.

Note: The programs and related materials from speakers with approval for disclosure are available on the following website.
http://supportoffice.jp/outreach/2015/asian_ec/ External Site Link


Opening remarks by State Minister Suzuki

Seminar

Release date

March 2, 2016

Division in Charge

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

Related Information

Trade Control

Last updated:2016-03-11
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