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The 25th Asian Export Control Seminar Held

From February 27 to March 1, 2018, 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 was the 25th seminar since its inauguration, bringing together approximately 220 participants from 33 countries and regions, international organizations, think tanks and other organizations.

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 to enhance Asian and international efforts toward non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) across Asian countries and the rest of the world by raising common awareness of the importance of security export control and establishing and enhancing export control systems.

As the environments surrounding global security are significantly changing, Asia, a region with dramatic economic development, is facing an increasing risk of being abused by countries of concern as supply sources of sensitive goodss and as bases for circumvention trade. Against this backdrop, at the seminar, participants exchanged views concerning the consolidation of export control systems as countermeasures against procurement activities by such countries of concern, and progress in the development of such systems in Asia and challenges therein.

2. Outline of the seminar

1) Participants

The seminar brought together approximately 220 participants from 33 countries and regions, international organizations, think tanks, and other organizations, including ASEAN economies, India, China, the United States and European countries.

2) Highlights of the seminar

Opening remarks

Mr. Masaki Ogushi, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, delivered opening remarks. He stated the need of further enhancing information exchange between related countries more than ever and improving the effectiveness of export control to address the growing diversity and sophistication of procurement activities by countries of concern increasingly threatening global security as seen in the nuclear experiments and ballistic missile launch by the DPRK and international terrorism attacks. He also emphasized the importance of related countries’ commitment to supporting universities and research institutes in taking efforts for complying export control systems so as to prevent such countries of concern from accessing sensitive technologies through such universities and research institutes.

Common challenges for effective security export control

A panel discussion was held and panelists (Mr. Yoichi Iida, Director-General, Trade Control Department, METI; Mr. Richard E. Ashooh, Assistant Secretary for Export Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce; Ms. Fauziah Sani, Head, Trade Strategy and Security Branch, Singapore Customs; Mr. Dhadchyarbhon Abhimontejchbud, Director, Agreement Merchandise Administration and Trade Measures Division, Department of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce, Thailand; and Mr. Jay P. Nash, Research Fellow, Center for Policy Research, University at Albany, State University of New York) discussed issues concerning the enhanced efforts for export control in light of the growing diversity and sophistication of procurement activities by countries of concern to access sensitive goods and technologies. The panelists held discussions concerning the urgent need to address intangible technology transfer (ITT) through universities and other institutes in particular, and to this end, the importance of support for academia in establishing export control systems. They also discussed: the importance of outreach to industry, including SMEs, to overcome the growing threats to global security derived from the development of innovations, the need of designing systems that do not exert excess burdens for industry, and the need of enhanced information exchange between related countries to prevent the outflow of goods and technologies to countries of concern.

Keynote lectures (efforts for preventing terrorism)

Speakers (Dr. Gonzalo de Salazar Serantes, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Spain to Vienna, Mr. Nobushige Takamizawa, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament, and Ms. Wendy Gilmour, Director General, Trade Controls Bureau, Global Affairs, Canada) made keynote lectures on efforts to stop the transfer of arms and dual use items to terrorist groups amid the growing expansion of terrorism worldwide. They explained that there is some concern about terrorism in which terrorists manipulate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and cell phones and that these cases should be addressed by integration of export control and counterterrorism measures. They continued to state that the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is to enhance efforts in preventing unauthorized transfer of arms and that global society expects the proactive accession of Asian countries to the ATT. Furthermore, they stated the importance of taking into consideration humanitarian issues as well as securing transparency thereof in taking measures against the transfer of military goods. These speeches provided participants with a good opportunity to raise their awareness of efforts for terrorism prevention.

International efforts for export control pursuing global security

Participants explained the latest efforts by the international export control regimes and the United Nation Security Council bearing in mind the development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles by the DPRK and non-state terrorism, and introduced activities by countries of concern for procuring and proliferating military items. This session provided a good opportunity for participants to raise awareness anew concerning the importance of preventing proliferation of sensitive goods to countries of concern by observing the international export control regimes’ guidelines and the UN resolutions by Asian countries, bearing in mind the ongoing proactive efforts by the regimes and the UN for outreach activities.

Development of export control systems in Asian region

Representatives from China, the Philippines and India made briefings on their export control systems. A private consultant made a briefing on the progress in efforts for export control systems across Asia. These briefings provided participants with a good opportunity to learn about the current development situation of such systems in Asia. Moreover, speakers explained their efforts for conducting outreach to the industry in their countries and identifying companies handling controlled goods. This also provided participants with a good opportunity to share the latest information on the progress in efforts for export control in Asia as well.

Activities of export control in participating countries

Representatives from Italy, the Netherlands, the European Commission, the United Kingdom and Malaysia explained their efforts, including recent revision of their export control systems. The speakers explained the introduction of the zero-licensing system contributing to reducing burdens on SMEs, a system to submit a report on arms and other goods from the viewpoint of transparency, discussion on controls of cyber technologies taking into consideration human-rights abuse, catch-all controls and specific application examples thereof, and the measures for reducing burdens on exporters and revisions of penalties. This provided participants with a good opportunity to share useful information.

Measures for complicated export control (approach to ITT control and cooperation with industry and academia)

Representatives from Japan, the United States, Pakistan, Germany, and the ROK, in both industry and research made presentations on their efforts for ITT and the importance of outreach activities to the industry and universities. Against the backdrop of the expanding globalization of universities and research institutes, participants held discussions concerning the importance of supporting universities in conducting efforts for export control, e.g., preparation of guidance, and in networking between universities and the industry, bearing in mind the growing significance of managing sensitive technologies in universities and the current situation where universities often manage such technologies in ways different from those in private companies. Moreover, the speakers pointed out the importance of enhancing the understanding of export control systems among top-level management of universities and the industry as well as the significance of developing tools that encourage SMEs and other entities to introduce such systems.

Breakout sessions

Opinions were proactively 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. At the session of officials in charge of policymaking, participants proactively discussed the development of human resources responsible for export control, interagency collaboration and appropriate implementation of UN resolutions. At the session of licensing officials, participants held discussions, based on specific case study, concerning the examination of export licensing and shared experiences and know-how. At the session of enforcement officials, participants held discussions concerning the interagency collaboration as well as international collaborations and pointed out the importance of information exchange between authorities. Moreover, these discussions at the sessions contributed to enhancing personal networks among participants.

Remaining challenges surrounding export control

Representatives from Hong Kong, the United States and research institutes delivered speeches focusing on challenges in the future enhancement of efforts in Asian countries and regions. They explained their efforts involving: transit and transshipment controls, financial measures against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (proliferation finance), and export control practices in the case of cloud computing. This program provided a good opportunity for participants to raise their awareness of these challenges and learn about measures for overcoming these challenges.

Practical efforts involving ITT (excursion to the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST))

As an opportunity to show Japan’s efforts for ITT, an issue with a growing importance, an excursion to AIST was held bringing together 33 participants. The participants exchanged views concerning AIST’s efforts for export control and enriched their understanding of the control of ITT.

3) Results of the seminar

Bringing together approximate 220 participants from 33 countries and regions, including ASEAN economies, India, China, the United States and Europe, international organizations, think tanks, and other organizations, the seminar proactively exchanged views concerning a variety of challenges faced by participating countries and regions, as well as their efforts for effective implementation of export control systems, and other issues, and the seminar also contributed to enhancing networking between participants. 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 establishing effective export control systems in Asia.

3. Participating countries, regions and organizations

1) Asian countries and regions: 18

Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, ROK, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, and Viet Nam

2) Other countries and regions: 15

Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, the European Union, France, Germany, Kazakhstan, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States

3) International export control regimes

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

4) International organizations and universities

The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 Committee; Panel of Experts established pursuant to resolution 1874 (2009), Security Council, United Nations; Delegation of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament; State University of New York; Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft; Stockholm International Peace Research Institute; Syndicat des Industries Exportatrices de Produits Stratégiques of France; James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, etc.

METI Parliamentary Vice-Minister Ogushi delivering opening remarks

Release date

March 6, 2018

Division in Charge

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

Related website

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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