Experts hold symposium in Tokyo on weapons transfers ahead of key arms treaty meeting


Experts in and outside Japan held a symposium in Tokyo on Saturday to discuss the vision against the reality of global arms transfers, ahead of a five-day meeting of countries part of the Arms Trade Treaty, also in Tokyo, starting Monday.

A number of countries are involved in arms transfers, Owen Greene, a professor at Britain’s Bradford University, said at the Meiji University symposium, noting that some countries sell massive amounts of arms while others sell old weapons by refurbishing them.

He thus stressed the importance of each country to treat the matter as its own problem.

Nobushige Takamizawa, Japan’s permanent representative to the Conference on Disarmament, said that not only weapons of mass destruction claimed numerous lives, but small firearms have as well.

Promoting the implementation of the ATT will lead to global peace, said Takamizawa, who is set to chair the meeting of parties to the treaty.

The ATT, which came into effect in 2014, is aimed at regulating conventional arms trade,specifically covering weapons in eight categories — battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large-caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missile launchers and missiles, and small arms and light weapons.

A total of 97 countries and regions are part of the ATT, including Brazil, which joined the treaty Tuesday as its newest member.