A group of 42 countries including Japan and the U.S. have agreed to add military-grade software and manufacturing technology for weapons-capable chip parts to an international list of items subject to export controls in an effort to counter cyberattacks and other threats, sources said.
The move by the member states of the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies (WA) is apparently aimed at curbing the proliferation of military technology to keep it out of the hands of states like China, North Korea and Iran.
Though Japan plans to tighten procedures for exporting products and technology with military applications under the WA agreement, it might affect some domestic companies as the new measures include cutting-edge fields related to manufacturing.
According to the sources, the agreement was reached unanimously at a meeting in December of the WA, a Vienna-headquartered international nonbinding regime that restricts the exporting of commodities and technologies that can be diverted for use by military forces and in weapons.
The 42 members include Britain, Russia, India and South Korea, but China, Iran and North Korea do not participate.
The WA agreement came amid rising concerns that key infrastructure and military systems might be subject to cyberattacks during the simmering standoff between the United States and Iran.