Tokyo Seminar on Missile Non-Proliferation
On March 22, Japan hosted Tokyo Seminar on Missile Non-Proliferation, inviting government officials from ASEAN countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam), as well as Australia and the Republic of Korea. Three experts from the United Kingdom and the United States contributed to the seminar by presenting academic researches related to missiles and missile proliferation.
The seminar aimed firstly to deepen understanding on the technical and military aspects of missiles and secondly to exchange views on measures to cope with missile proliferation issues, in particular, ballistic missile proliferation. Following is the general observation on its outcome.
- Generally, most participants shared the view that the ongoing proliferation of missiles, capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction, poses threat to the regional and international peace and security.
- They also shared the view that a single country can not tackle this problem alone and that there is the need to cope with missile proliferation problems through bilateral, regional and international framework of cooperation.
- Varieties of views were expressed concerning the following points. In summary:
- Perception on the threat posed by missile proliferation differs from one country to another according to various factors such as its military doctrine, and it is not desirable to point out some particular countries as countries of concern.
- Some participants expressed interests in the equal treatment between missile holding countries and non-holding countries. They stressed that vertical missile proliferation, in particular, by nuclear weapon states should be addressed as well as horizontal missile proliferation and that any discriminatory framework similar to the NPT is unacceptable.
- Some participants expressed interests in developing outer space for peaceful purposes and showed skepticism about export controls on the related technology.
- The ICOC was presented as an advanced and concrete approach to tackle the ballistic missile proliferation, while some participants made the following remarks:
- Cruise missiles should also be included as the scope of the ICOC;
- The "Cooperation" section is vague and weak for encouraging countries to forgo their ballistic missile programs.
- The ICOC should be integrated under one objective to other initiatives such as the UN Panel of Governmental Expert and Global Control System.
- The ICOC should be a universally negotiated framework.
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