"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Statement by Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, at Arms Trade Treaty 4th Conference of States Parties

[Place] Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo)
[Date] August 20, 2018
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

Mr. President,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Government of Japan, I would like to warmly welcome everyone and thank you all for travelling to Tokyo to attend the Fourth Conference of States Parties (CSP4) to Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). I would also like to express my sincere appreciation for the cooperation and support the stakeholders of this conference, including civil society, academia and industry, have extended to Japan.

The unregulated or illicit trade of conventional weapons has caused devastating human suffering and regional instability which undermines social and economic development. Japan has been actively engaged in the rule-making process with regard to conventional weapons. The ATT represents such efforts and its fulfillment as a treaty is undoubtedly a landmark achievement.

The Treaty aims to enhance regional and international peace and security through the appropriate control of the international trade and the prevention of illicit transfer of conventional weapons, including small arms and light weapons. Given such objectives, the ATT is now facing two imminent challenges, universalization of the Treaty and its effective implementation.

As the first country in Asia to serve as President, Japan has actively pursued the ATT's universalization in cooperation with the ATT Secretariat, co-chair of the Working Group on Universalization, Finland, and other like-minded countries. I welcome the news that the number of States Parties has increased by five, including one from Asia. To continue to increase the number of States Parties, we should work together to promote the value and role of ATT.

As for the steady and effective implementation, Japan has submitted two working papers we hope to be incorporated into the outcome of CSP4.

Japan has financially contributed to Voluntary Trust Fund (VTF) in March of this year to promote the treaty's effective and transparent implementation.

Japan provided support to countries in need for capacity building as well.

We believe we need to work with the Reporting to the UN Register of Conventional Arms (UNROCA) and the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (UNPOA) for the effective implementation. Both the UNPOA and ATT discussed diversion, which affects a number of stakeholders. I hope the thematic discussion on diversion planned in this conference will contribute to effectively addressing and countering the issue.

During the Third Review Conference of the UNPOA and the CSP4 preparatory process, we had active and fruitful

discussions regarding the close linkages between ATT and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We believe the implementation of the ATT promotes the achievement of the SDGs.

In closing, I would like to once again thank civil society, NGOs, the private sector, and the other various stakeholders for their contribution to the Treaty.

I hope you will have fruitful discussions in Tokyo. Thank you very much.