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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 February 21 - 27  > International effort needed to totally ban cluster bombs
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2007 February 21 - 27 [POLITICS]

International effort needed to totally ban cluster bombs

February 26, 2007
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

An international conference in Oslo adopted a declaration calling for a treaty banning cluster bombs to be concluded by the end of 2008.

Military powers block effort to ban cluster bombs

Cluster bombs have been heavily used by the U.S. forces in Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan, as well as by the Israeli forces in Lebanon. This type of weapon is used in aggressions against other nations. It violates the International Humanitarian Law by wounding and killing innocent civilians in the name of military efficiency.

The Conference of the parties (102 nations as of February 2007) to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) has failed to discuss a ban on use of cluster bombs due to pressure by U.S. and other countries frequently using the weapon.

The recent international conference on cluster bombs, hosted by the Norwegian government, was frustrated by the CCW conference’s failure to ban the weapon.

It is very significant that 46 out of 49 nations attending the conference agreed to the conclusion of a treaty banning cluster bombs.

Nation with Article 9

Along with these states’ diplomatic efforts in line with the Oslo Declaration, the CCW parties, including the U.S. (which did not attend the Oslo conference), are called on to positively respond to the declaration and to start full-fledged discussions on a total ban of cluster bombs.

Japan, as well as Poland and Rumania, at the conference opposed the declaration. Since Japan had not originally been invited to the conference, it requested permission to take part in the conference. Despite this, Japan clings to the use of cluster bombs.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Sakaba Mitsuo on February 22 said that the weapon is “necessary for security reasons” and that it is difficult to favor the adoption of the treaty only from a humanitarian point of view.

As the nation with its Article 9, Japan has an international obligation to lead the worldwide effort to ban inhumane weapons.

Aiming at a total ban of cluster bombs, the Japanese government must totally prohibit the use of cluster bombs possessed by the Self-Defense Forces as the first step.
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