Meeting with Asian countries on Measures to cope with Ballistic Missile Proliferation and MTCR Draft International Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (ICOC)
On March 2, Japan hosted a meeting with Asian countries to exchange views on the need for international efforts against ballistic missile proliferation and to gain wider support for the Draft International Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (ICOC) drafted by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) at its Helsinki Plenary in October 2000.
Participants from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam exchanged their personal views in a friendly atmosphere and they generally shared the view on the need to tackle the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.
It was the first meeting related to missile proliferation Japan hosted with the participation of Asian countries. It provided a useful opportunity for Japan to explain its position in pursuing to prevent and curb missile ballistic proliferation. The discussion turned out to be very meaningful and vigorous.
Varieties of views concerning the following points were raised during the discussion.
- Perception on the threat posed by ballistic missile proliferation, and accordingly, the degree of urgency for the efforts to tackle the proliferation of ballistic missiles differ from one country to another.
- Some participants expressed doubts or concerns about excessive controls on technology development for peaceful space utilization, as a result of the ICOC.
- Generally, most participants stressed the importance of economic development, free trade and competitiveness, showing also their concern on the "export-control"- oriented approach for the ICOC.
- Desire for a multilateral forum (UN, CD, etc.) to discuss and deal with missile non-proliferation was evident.
- Questions on future timeframe, institutionalization, verification mechanism, incentives, concrete implications of a country subscribing to the Code, etc.
The meeting also contributed to deepen participants' understanding about international efforts against missile proliferation.
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