Statement by Mr. Hirofumi Nakasone, Minister for Foreign Affairs, on the Deposit of the Instrument of Acceptance of the Convention on Cluster Munitions

July 15, 2009

  1. On July 14 (Tue), the Government of Japan submitted a Document of Acceptance on the Convention on Cluster Munitions at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The document was submitted by the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
  2. The Convention on Cluster Munitions prohibits the use, production, acquisition, or transfer of cluster munitions, and stipulates the destruction of cluster munitions. It also provides for the creation of a framework for international cooperation. I attended the signing conference for the Convention that was held on December 3, 2008 in Oslo, and personally signed the Convention.
  3. Cluster munitions and unexploded submunitions in Laos, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and other countries, have caused heavy civilian casualties. The Government of Japan has continually taken the humanitarian concerns caused by cluster munitions very seriously, and has actively participated in making an effective international instrument to address the concerns. I am very happy that this Convention was ratified today.
    The Convention must be ratified by thirty countries for it to come into effect. As of July 14, fourteen countries have ratified it (including Japan).
  4. The Government of Japan has provided assistance for carrying out activities to remove land mines, cluster munitions, and unexploded ordnances, as well as to support victims. Since 1998, the total amount of assistance is approximately 340 million USD (approximately 38 billion JPY) to forty countries. Japan intends to continue playing an active role in these fields, and dispatched a mission to Laos and Cambodia to survey the needs for unexploded munitions clearance and victim assistance in June. Japan also hopes that progress is made in the international community to advance the legal norm to ban cluster munitions by encouraging other countries to ratify this Convention, and intends to play a leading role in enhancing international cooperation to respond to the humanitarian problems caused by cluster munitions.