Japan plans to host high-level dialogue on export controls in the Asia-Pacific region in October in a bid to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, trade chief Takeo Hiranuma said Friday.

“We want to launch a so-called Asia export-control initiative to prevent WMD. We have already committed to strict export control, but it is important to expand the system to the Asia region,” Hiranuma, the minister of economy, trade and industry, said at a news conference after the day’s Cabinet meeting.

The move comes after reports that Meishin, a Tokyo trading house owned by a North Korean, allegedly tried to export current converters to North Korea via Thailand. Current converters can be used in missile development.

According to Hiranuma, the dialogue will include officials at the director general level from Japan, the United States, Australia, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

They will discuss ways to cooperate in preventing procurement of materials that could be used for WMD.

Hiranuma said it is also important to promote cooperation on export controls in bilateral relations with each nation in the area.

Japan wants to work particularly closely with China, and the two nations will probably to hold joint seminars on the topic, he said.

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