Control Arms welcomes the ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) by Japan, which brings the world one step closer to achieving the necessary ratifications for entry into force. However it is disappointing that alongside its ratification of the ATT, Japan has abandoned its long-held ban on arms exports, and intends to start exporting arms and other military equipment.

As the UN Secretary General has recently said “the world is over armed and peace is underfunded,” we urge Japan to put its energies into encouraging all states to sign and implement the ATT, not into promoting their own arms exports.

While the ATT is not a treaty to ban all arms exports, it should also not be used as a legitimization of an increase in the arms trade. The humanitarian goals of the ATT are clear, and we expect all states to strive for these. By ratifying the ATT, states must strengthen, not weaken, their existing national policies.

As the Treaty nears entry-into-force Control Arms will continue to work with Japan and all governments to ensure the effective implementation of the treaty in order to reduce death and suffering that results from the irresponsible trade in arms.

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