Japan called upon to curb small arms trade

You may have read this post I made a little while back, discussing Japan’s international trade in small arms under the guise of “sporting equipment,” in defiance of their official stance against exporting weapons. Well, the Japan Times is carrying a brief Kyodo article stating that a London based group is now asking Japan to lead the fight against international small arms trade.

Japan urged to champion curbs on firearms trade

LONDON (Kyodo) Campaigners on Monday called on Japan to lead efforts to strengthen the international code on the export of small arms.

The London-based International Action Network on Small Arms, a group of more than 700 civic organizations around the world, wants the rules to be made more explicit to deter exports to countries that abuse human rights.

It will call on members of the United Nations in June to strengthen the code and wants Japan to take more of a lead in discussions.

IANSA estimates that more than 300,000 people are killed each year by small arms, with the largest number of deaths occurring in Russia, Latin America and the United States. Legal trade in small arms is worth $ 4 billion annually, with another $ 1 billion generated on the black market.

In its domestic laws, Japan recognizes how deadly small arms can be. There are a growing number of countries which are getting behind the idea of an international treaty to stop small arms transfers to countries which abuse human rights, or where they are going to be an obstacle to sustainable development,” said Rebecca Peters, director of IANSA.

Have you noticed the curious omission from this article? Nowhere does it mention why Japan should be the country taking the lead. Is it because Japan is known as a nation of pacifism with an official policy of not selling weapons, or is it because they violate that very policy and are being asked to begin the reforms at home?