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    The 22nd Asian Export Control Seminar was Held

    From February 17 to 19, 2015, 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 (MOF) as co-organizers. The seminar marked its 22nd anniversary this year and was held with about 160 people from 17 Asian countries and regions and 7 other countries and regions 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 (WMDs) 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 22nd seminar, participants exchanged views, focusing particularly on [i] new challenges for strategic export controls, [ii] challenges and issues on export control implementation, and [iii] actions toward enhancing non-proliferation activities in the Asian region.

    2. Outline of the seminar

    1) Participants

    The seminar was held with about 160 people from 17 Asian countries and regions and 7 other countries and regions attending.

    2) Details of the seminar

    Welcome speech

    At the beginning of the seminar, Mr. Yoshihiro Seki, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, delivered a welcome speech and sent messages about [i] the need for global collaboration to counter the threats raised by international terrorism and proliferation of WMDs, under which international security environment is becoming more concerned, and [ii] developing the export control system will contribute to securing the safety of business activities and encouraging trade and investment.

    New Challenges for Strategic Export Controls

    A panel discussion was held concerning the issue of new challenges on strategic export controls, with senior officials of the authorities in charge of export control from participating countries (Ms. Naoko Munakata, Director-General, Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau of METI, Mr. Kevin J. Wolf, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration of the U.S., and Mr. Muthafa Yusof, Deputy Strategic Trade Controller of Malaysia) and an expert from the private sector (Professor Satoshi Morimoto, Professor of Takushoku University and former Minister of Defense of Japan) attending. At the discussion, panelists presented new challenges, namely, diversified actors of proliferation concern, e.g., non-state actors, diversified goods and technologies related to such weapons, and diversified and sophisticated procurement activities. They also posed the need to enhance regulations to address the challenges, including the introduction of catch-all control and countermeasures against transfers of intangible technology, as well as the need to conduct outreach activities to encourage emerging and developing countries to introduce export control systems, so as to reduce the number of countries with inadequate export control systems.

    Challenges and issues on export control implementation

    Participants showed the recent trends in the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which came into force in 2014, and in the export control reform in the U.S. In addition, some participants reported their efforts for addressing challenges in implementing export control, including export control systems by the UK and India; initiatives for the catch-all control regulations by France and Australia; and transfers of intangible technology and outreach activities by Japan and the U.S. In addition, presentations about efforts regarding post-shipment verifications are made by the U.S., Tohoku University, and the Japanese industry. The seminar provided a good opportunity to present model case examples of solving common challenges among countries in implementing the export control system.

    Breakout sessions

    Breakout sessions (sessions mainly for holding small-group discussions) were divided into three groups, namely, a group of officials in charge of policy issues, a group of licensing officers, and a group of enforcement officials. Three groups focused on subjects: formulating a domestic law for controlling exports, challenges in licensing, and challenges in enforcement respectively, and exchanged views on initiatives and challenges of participating countries and organizations other than those having already made presentations. This opportunity contributed to sharing best practices among countries and regions and enhancing human networks among participants.

    Enhancing non-proliferation activities in the Asian region

    Officials and experts from the international export control regimes (IECR), panels from the UN Security Council, and the World Customs Organization (WCO), etc. delivered speeches on their 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 global efforts for non-proliferation of weapons from a multilateral and comprehensive viewpoint.

    3) Results of the seminar and future efforts

    The seminar was successfully held with as many as about 160 participants from 17 Asian countries and regions and seven other countries and regions attending. It provided the participating countries and regions with a significant opportunity to raise awareness of export control and to share knowledge and exchange views on the efforts for tackling new challenges in export control, through which further cooperation in achieving worldwide non-proliferation and export control of weapons is expected to be advanced.

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

    3. Participating countries, regions and organizations

    1) Asian countries and regions: 17

    Bangladesh, Cambodia, People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, China, India, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Chinese Taipei, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Viet Nam ,

    2) Other countries and regions: 7

    The United States of America, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, and the European Union

    3) IECR: 4

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

    4) International organizations and universities: 5 organizations and 5 universities

    The ASEAN Secretariat, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) under the OECD, panels from the UN Security Council (Resolution 1874 for North Korea; Resolution 1929 for the Islamic Republic of Iran), WCO, State University of New York, University of Georgia, University of Washington, Monterey Institute of International Studies, Tohoku University, and Takushoku University

    Note: The agenda and related documents of speakers with approval for disclosure are available on the following website: External Site Link

    Parliamentary Vice-Minister Seki making a welcome speech

    Release date

    February 19, 2015

    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
    1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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