National / Politics

Japan's Komeito political party seeks international regulations on robotic weapons

JIJI

A project team of Komeito, the junior partner in the Liberal Democratic Party-led ruling coalition, has presented to Foreign Minister Taro Kono its proposals for an international agreement to regulate robotic weapons development.

Deployment of lethal autonomous weapons systems, or LAWS, cannot be overlooked in terms of international humanitarian law and ethics, according to the proposals released Monday.

Komeito called for agreeing on a document, such as a political declaration or a code of conduct, within the framework of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.

Kono said he will refer to the proposals.

Ethical issues and military advantages of such weapons have been under discussion within the framework of the convention since 2014.

Japan will present its view at meetings of governmental experts to be held later this month and in August.

The Defense Ministry and the Self-Defense Forces, suffering from personnel shortages amid falling numbers of young people, are reportedly eying more use of robotic weapons and remain cautious about excessive regulations.