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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 November 26 - December 2  > Japan to eliminate cluster munitions
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2008 November 26 - December 2 [WORLD]

Japan to eliminate cluster munitions

November 25, 2008
The government has decided to eliminate its cluster munitions held by the Self-Defense Forces and to not obtain any new cluster munitions.

Japan has refused to sign an international treaty banning cluster munitions. However, under pressure from increasing calls for their elimination in Japan as well as internationally, the government in May this year decided to sign the treaty.

Foreign Minister Nakasone Hirofumi will attend the signing of the treaty on December 3 in Oslo, Norway.

From 1983 to 2006, the government expended 27.6 billion yen in tax money to procure four types of cluster munitions ostensibly to prevent enemies from landing on Japan.

The treaty does not ban member states from possessing new cluster munitions as long as they have less than 10 submunitions and a self-destruction mechanism to decrease the probability of leaving unexploded submunitions.

After the treaty comes into effect, four types of cluster munitions currently possessed by Japan will no longer be allowed, and Japan will be required to eliminate them within eight years.

The Defense Ministry requests 200 million yen in the FY 2009 budget for research into ways to eliminate cluster munitions. It is believed that 20 billion yen is needed to eliminate them. The government will determine the method for the elimination by taking into account safety and efficiency.
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