Tokyo joins U.N. arms trade treaty

Kyodo

Japan on Friday became the 32nd country to join an international treaty aimed at regulating the global flow of conventional arms.

Ambassador Motohide Yoshikawa presented the instrument of ratification at United Nations headquarters in New York in the presence of U.N. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane.

Kane welcomed Japan’s entry into the treaty, which requires the participation of 50 countries, expressing hope that it will encourage more U.N. members to ratify it so that it can take effect.

“Monitoring the flow of conventional arms will have a major significance in deterring insurgencies and conflicts as much as possible in the world and thereby limiting damage,” Yoshikawa told reporters.

He added that Japan will play its part in the global effort to bring the treaty into force.

The treaty bans states from engaging in the export, import, transit and brokering of tanks, attack helicopters, combat aircraft, warships, missiles and small and light weapons, among others arms, if there are risks that they might be used to commit terrorism or attacks against civilians.

In early April, one year after the treaty was adopted at the U.N., 18 countries including major weapons exporters France, Germany and Britain joined it.