Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States
Appendix III: Unclassified Working Papers
System Planning Corporation: "Non-Proliferation Issues"
Japan has used its nation's strength in civil technology to develop one of
the most technologically advanced militaries in the world. The application
of civilian technology for military purposes, known in Japan as the
"spin-on," has provided Japan with state of the art military capabilities
in virtually all areas, including, tactical ballistic and aerodynamic
Japan has also indigenously developed a highly advanced civil space
program. In utilizing technology from corporations like Mitsubishi,
Kawasaki and Toshiba, Japan has developed and used two different types of
space launch vehicles, the M-3S11 and H-2, and is developing two new kinds
of SLV's. According to unclassified literature on this subject, Japan has
the technological capability to modify its SLV's into IRBM's or ICBM's that
could carry a nuclear, chemical or biological payload. The nation, however,
has never attempted to do this.
Japan has also indigenously developed two different types of aerodynamic
cruise missiles that can be launched from the sea, air, or ground. There is
no evidence in the literature suggesting that these missiles have been
modified to carry a nuclear, chemical or biological warhead or that Japan
has expressed interest in modifying these missiles to carry such payloads.
Furthermore, the unclassified literature suggests that Japan has never
exported technology or material from either its ballistic or aerodynamic
missile programs to other nations or to non-state actors. Since 1967 the
Japanese government has maintained a ban on exports of defense equipment.
This ban is one reflection of the powerful strain of pacifism in Japanese
There is also a strong consensus in the literature that Japan has assumed a
leading role in recent years in promoting international arms control. Japan
has been a key contributor to the Nonproliferation Treaty, the Nuclear
Suppliers Group, Australia Group and Missile Technology Control Regime
(MTCR). In addition, Japan has worked with other Asian nations to
strengthen their export control systems for military equipment and
Following the Toshiba Scandal of 1987 in which the Toshiba Corporation
illegally transferred milling equipment for use in Soviet submarines, Japan
has taken steps to improve the effectiveness of its export control system.
In an attempt to help Japanese companies develop stronger internal export
control mechanisms, the government established the Center for Information
on Security Export Controls (CISTEC).
Although CISTEC has worked with over 900 Japanese companies to improve
industry compliance with export control regulations, a number of authors
have stated that serious problems still exist in Japan's export control
system, called the "know system." First, many Japanese companies do not
have the financial resources to establish effective internal compliance
systems. Second, Japanese companies have claimed that the "know" system
compromises the effectiveness of their efforts. Industry has complained
that the know system lacks specificity and that it places far too much
pressure on companies. Last, and most important, the authors contend that
government controls are weak over the transfer of dual-use items, and that
the current system is ineffective in tracking the end-use of dual-use
Since the end of the Cold War, there has been considerable speculation that
Japan may become East Asia's preeminent military power, and that it may
develop nuclear weapons and intercontinental delivery systems. Although
Japan has never provided any indication that it will modify its SLV's into
ICBM's, any such activity could have implications for U.S. national
Prior Assessments of Japan's Export Control System
There is a very limited body of unclassified literature on Japan's export
control system, and virtually no information on Japanese export controls
for missile technology. In general, the unclassified literature is highly
descriptive in nature. All of the studies that were consulted described the
structure of Japan's export control system, including, the system's
statutory and legal requirements, the institutions responsible for
implementing and overseeing government controls, and the government's
efforts in working with private industry to improve its internal compliance
Each study offers conclusions about the effectiveness of Japan's export
controls. These conclusions are drawn from interviews and discussions with
Japanese government officials, business leaders, and policy experts. It
appears that the authors believed that they could best assess the strengths
and weaknesses of Japan's export controls by personally interacting with
leading industry and government officials. In addition to interviews and
discussions with these figures, the authors supplemented their research by
consulting government documents such as Shipper's Export Declarations and
Import Certificates, as well as numerous manuals and directives from the
Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and the Center for
Information on Strategic Technology (CISTEC). Furthermore, in an attempt to
assess Japan's export control system more systematically, one of the
studies developed a statistical questionnaire that was distributed to
industry and government officials regarding the strengths and weaknesses of
Japan's export control system.
Japan's Defense Industry and Technological Infrastructure
There is a consensus among the literature that Japan possesses one of the
most technologically advanced militaries in the world, and the most
advanced in Asia. There is also a consensus that Japanese individuals
involved in foreign policy and defense policy planning believe that Japan
must continue to develop advanced weapons systems based on state of the art
technology in order to deter potential threats, particularly in the face of
declining U.S. presence in Asia in the post-cold war era.
To further its defense policy objectives, Japan has placed top priority in
developing a defense infrastructure that is virtually self-sufficient. A
widespread belief exists among government officials and other members of
the elite that in order for Japan to remain strong it must make its own
defense equipment and sharply limit its reliance on foreign technology and
assistance. Japan spends nearly 90% of its $8 billion annual procurement
budget at home.
Japan's defense capabilities have greatly benefited from the nation's
strength in civil technologies. The nation indigenously produces virtually
all of the heavy equipment and electronics for its military forces. It
appears, however, that despite Japan's ability to create state of the art
equipment for its armed forces, a large gap exists in Japan's aviation
production capabilities. Japan has had to build its fighters, jet engines
and military helicopters under license. Nevertheless, the literature
suggests that in recent years this gap has started to narrow. Kawasaki
Heavy Industries is now developing the OH-X, a reconnaissance helicopter
and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is producing the F-2, Japan's most modern
fighter aircraft. Although experts have concluded that it would be more
cost effective for Japan to import specific weapons systems and
technologies from the United States and Europe, Japan insists on largely
developing its own defense capabilities.
In Japan, there is no distinction between the defense technological base
and the commercial technological base. The nation does not have defense
companies like other nations; only conglomerates for which defense is one
of a number of activities. In this regard, Japan's Technical Research and
Development Institute (TRDI), the central research organization within
Japan's Defense Agency that is often compared to DoD's DARPA, has adopted
the philosophy that commercial technologies must be utilized in defense
applications. This strategy, known as the "spin-on," has been clearly
stated in Japan's defense white paper. A former director of TRDI once
stated that, "our view is that there is no black versus white, military
versus civilian technology. All technology is just different shades of
gray. It becomes military or civilian in application." 1 A number of
authors have concluded that the application of civilian technology for
military purposes has contributed to the creation of Japan's
technologically advanced military capabilities.
Japan's Ballistic and Aerodynamic Missile Capabilities
Japan has ambitious plans to develop a national manned space presence in
the coming years. Since the early 1970's, Japan's space capabilities have
grown strongly. Today, only the United States and Russia spend more on
space than Japan. 2
In utilizing state of the art technology from civil corporations, Japan has
indigenously created one of the most technologically advanced space launch
capabilities in the world. Japan is currently using two types of space
launch vehicles, the M-3S11 and the H-2, and is developing the H2A and J-1
for use in the future.
The literature posits that Japan possesses the industrial infrastructure
and technical know-how from its space launch programs to support long-range
ballistic missile operations, if, it wished to undertake such operations.
Nothing in the literature states, however, that Japan has attempted to
modify its SLV's into ICBM's.
Furthermore, there is nothing written in the literature which suggests that
Japan has exported its SLV technology abroad. Based on the technological
sophistication of Japan's SLV programs, any such activity would undoubtedly
aid the ballistic missile capabilities of a nation of proliferation
In 1985 a variant of the M-3, the M-3S11, was launched for the first time.
According to Jane's Strategic Weapons Systems, the M-3S11 was designed
exclusively as a Space Launch Vehicle. This rocket has three solid fuel
stages, and can be fitted with an optional solid fuel fourth stage. In
addition, the M-3SII is fitted with two solid fueled strap-ons. The rocket
has the ability to lift a 770 kg payload to a 250 km circular orbit, a 460
kg payload into 500 km circular orbit, and 170 kg into earth escape
trajectory. The rocket's guidance system is comprised of three rate
integrating gyros in Spin Free Analytic Platform in Stage 2's forward
instrumentation bay, with two stage 1 gyros providing pitch/yaw damping
signals during the stage 1 burn.
Japan has revealed no plans to convert this rocket into an Intermediate
Range Ballistic Missile. If , however, the Japanese should decide to
convert the M-3SII into an IRBM, the missile could carry a 500 kg warhead
approximately 4000 km. 3 Any transfer of this missile or its related
technology would be in violation of the MTCR. It is believed that the
M-3SII was retired from service in 1995 after eight launches.
Development on the H-2 program started in 1985 as Japan planned the
successor to the H-1. Both the National Space Development Agency of Japan
(NASDA) and Japanese Industry believe that the H-2 will be the mainstay
Japanese launcher for the next twenty years. 4 A consortium of about 70
Japanese aerospace companies was formed in the early 1990's to market the
H-2 for commercial use. The first test launch of the H-2 occurred in 1994.
The first stage of the H-2 launch vehicle consists of the first stage core
vehicle equipped with the LE-7 engine and two solid rocket boosters (SRBs)
. The LE-7 engine is a liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine with 86 tons of
thrust (at sea level) . The SRBs are polybutadiene composite solid
propellant boosters with 158 tons of thrust each (at sea level) . The
guidance and control of the first stage is performed by the hydraulically
steerable nozzles of the
LE-7 engine and of the SRBs controlled by the Inertial Guidance
Computer(IGC). Two auxiliary engines are also provided to control attitude.
The second stage of the H-2 launch vehicle is equipped with the
LE-5A liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine. The LE-5A engine is an improved
LE-5 engine(developed for the second stage of the
H - I launch vehicle) and provides 12 tons of thrust (in vacuum) .The
guidance and control of the second stage is performed by the hydraulically
steerable nozzle of the LE-5A engine and the reaction control system
controlled by the IGC .
The H-2 launch vehicle employs a strapped-down inertial guidance and
control system. The system consists of the Inertial Measurement Unit (lMU)
which uses three ring laser gyros and
the IGC. The inertial guidance and control system enables the H-2 launch
vehicle to correct errors automatically and to maintain the planned orbit
without commands from the ground station .
The H-2 has a flexible launching ability that enables it to launch: two ton
class satellites into geostationary orbit, two one ton class satellites
simultaneously into geostationary orbit, ten ton class satellites into low
earth orbit and two ton class probes to planets like Mars and Venus.
The literature suggests that the H-2 program has faced several drawbacks in
recent years. First, the rocket has been unable to compete in the
commercial market because of high production costs and the increasing value
of the yen. In addition, NASDA officials have stated that the rocket's main
engines must be redesigned for manned space flight due to safety
Although the Japanese media speculated that the Japanese would convert the
H-2 into an ICBM after its first test launch in February 1994, Japan has
never revealed any conversion plans. 6 If, however, Japan at some point
decides to convert the H-2 into an ICBM, the missile could carry a 4000 kg
payload over 15,000 km. 7
Over the past few years, the Japanese have designed a lower cost version of
the H-2, the H-2A, that could become operational by 2000. The H-2A in its
configuration is able to launch a two ton class satellite into
geostationary orbit. It also is able to launch a three ton class satellite
into geostationary orbit in the configuration augmented by a large liquid
rocket booster. Its growth capacity and design potential is to launch up to
a four ton class satellite into geostationary orbit. The vehicle for a
three ton class will be launched from the Tanegashima Space Center in 2001.
The first stage of the H-2A launch vehicle consists of the first stage core
vehicle equipped with the LE-7A liquid hydrogen / liquid oxygen engine and
two solid rocket boosters (SRB-A). The LE-7A engine is an improved version
of LE-7 engine (developed for the first stage of the H-2 launch vehicle)
and provides 110 tons of thrust (in vacuum). the SRB-As are newly developed
for the H-2A with composite material motor case and polybutadiene composite
solid propellant. Each SRB-A provides 230 tons of thrust (in vacuum) at
vehicle lift off. The liquid rocket booster (LRB) consists of the first
stage core structure and two LE-7A engines. It is used for launching three
ton class (or heavier) payload into geostationary orbit. In early 1997, the
NASDA selected Thiokol Corp. of Ogden, Utah to supply the H-2A strap-ons
for missions requiring additional thrust. 9
The second stage of the H-2A launch vehicle is equipped with the LE-5B
liquid hydrogen / liquid oxygen engine. The LE-5B engine is an improved
version of LE-5A engine developed for the H-2 second stage, and provides 14
tons of thrust (in vacuum). The guidance and control of the second stage is
performed by the LE-5B engine gimbaling with electrical actuation systems
and the hydrazine gas-jet reaction control systems.
The H-2A launch vehicle employs a strapped-down inertial guidance and
control system. The system consists of the newly developed Inertial
Measurement Unit (IMU) which contains four ring laser gyros, and the
Guidance Control Computer (GCC). The inertial guidance and control system
enable the H-2A launch vehicle to correct errors autonomously and maintain
the planned orbit without commands from the ground stations.
J-I is a three stage solid rocket which is designed to meet the needs of
launching a small sized satellite. This rocket is able to launch
approximately a one ton class satellite into low earth orbit. The solid
rocket booster (SRB) of the H-II rocket developed by the National Space
Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) and the upper part of the M-3SII rocket
developed by the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) were
combined for this rocket in order to develop it in a short period of time,
at a lower cost. The J-I could save much more working time at the launch
site than liquid rockets, since it is a solid rocket in all stages.
The J-I first stage motor is identical to the SRB of the H-2 Launch
Vehicle. It is the domestically developed solid rocket motor with 59 tons
of propellant yielding the average thrust of about 160 tons (at sea level)
to lift up 90 tons vehicle vertically. The attitude control during motor
burn is performed by deflecting the nozzle with the hydraulic actuators.
The first stage has External Vernir Engine (EVE) for roll control during
burn and for 3-axis control during coasting. Two EVEs are fixed on the side
of the tail of the first stage. The 1st/2nd inter-stage structure installs
the separation devices and 1st stage instruments.
The second stage motor is the ISAS's M-23 motor. It has the Liquid
Injection Thrust Vector Control (LITVC), which yields side force by
injecting liquid into the nozzle, and the Side Jet (SJ) thrusters for roll
control during burn and for 3-axis control during coasting. SJ is also used
for spin-up before 2nd-3rd stage separation. The control electronics,
telemetry instruments, etc. are installed in the instrument installation
The third stage motor is the ISAS's M-3B. The third stage is spin
stabilized, and the pointing and ignition timing is to be corrected by the
radio guidance system. Atop of M-3B is the payload attach fitting with
avionics such as the timer and telemetry instruments.
J-I adopts the radio guidance method like the M-3SII, and the attitude
correction command is transmitted from the ground station if necessary. The
ignition timing of the third stage motor can also be corrected by the
guidance command. The attitude of rocket is controlled by the Control
Electronics Unit (CNE) using gyros data on the Spin Free Analytic Platform
Towards A Nuclear Delivery System?
There is considerable speculation that Japan has aspirations to become a
nuclear power, and that it could develop nuclear weapons on short-notice,
if it has not already done so. Japan's technology in the atomic field is
highly developed, and would have little difficulty building a nuclear
arsenal if chose to do so. Furthermore, Japan has stockpiled significant
amounts of plutonium, and continues to reprocess spent nuclear fuel in its
closed nuclear fuel cycle. Although this plutonium is not weapons grade,
Japan could easily convert it for military use.
Despite the strong sense of pacifism that exists in Japan, and Japan's
position as an NPT adherent, the literature suggests that Japan has the
technical know-how to convert its space launch vehicles into
Intercontinental nuclear delivery systems by the year 2015, and thus, pose
a direct threat to the United States. Furthermore, Japan possesses
sophisticated satellite capabilities for earth observation and
communications. Although Japan has used land, marine and geostationary
meteorological satellites for civil purposes, these satellites could be
easily adapted for use in a ballistic missile program if one were ever
Japan currently possesses three different short range and aerodynamic
missiles that can be launched by air, sea or ground.
All three of these missiles are intended to be used as anti-ship missiles,
although the literature suggests that they can be adapted to land targets
as well. There is no evidence in the literature suggesting that these
missiles have been modified to carry a nuclear, chemical or biological
warhead or that Japan has expressed interest in modifying these missiles to
carry such payloads.
These missiles possesses ranges of between 50-150 km and thus do not pose a
threat to the United States if launched from Japan. However, like most
SRBM's and cruise missiles, if launched by a hostile state from either
seaborne or airborne platforms within range of the United States, these
missiles could pose a threat to the United States.
ASM-1/-1C/ASM-2 (Type 80/Type 91/Type 93)
The ASM-1 Type 80 is a medium-range radar guided air to surface missile
that entered service in 1983. The missile is carried by the Mitsubishi F-1,
the P-3C Orion and the F-4J Phantom. The missile has a range of
approximately 50 km and is fitted with a 150 kg
HE semi-armor piercing warhead. There is no information in the literature
suggesting that the missile has been modified to carry a biological,
chemical or nuclear warhead. Since 1983, the Japanese military has acquired
between 20 and 30 missiles per year from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the
primary contractor. Furthermore, there are no known exports of this missile
or its related technology, although such a transfer would not be in
violation of the MTCR.
The ASM-2 is the successor to the ASM-1. The missile is a long-range
version of the ASM-1, with a range of approximately 100 km, and was entered
into service in 1995. The ASM-2 is carried by the P-3C Orion, F-1, F-15J
and the F-16 modified FS-X aircraft. The missile has a turbo-jet propulsion
system and has a guidance system similar to the ASM-1. There is no
information in the literature suggesting that the ASM-2 has been modified
to carry a biological, chemical or nuclear warhead. The missile is produced
by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. There are no known exports of the missile
or its technology, even though the transfer of this missile or its
technology would not violate the MTCR.
SSM-1 (Type 88 and 90)
The SSM-1 is a short range turbojet powered surface-to-surface cruise
missile that can be launched either from the ground or at sea. It is
predominantly used, however, as a ground-launched coastal defense anti-ship
missile. The missile's technical design is based on the Type 80 ASM-1 air
launched anti-ship missile, although the SSM-1 is fitted with a turbo jet
engine so that it can strike targets at a longer range of 150 km.
The missile is carried and launched from a Transporter-Erector-Launcher
(TEL) vehicle. Each launch vehicle has six cylindrical launch canisters
mounted in two layers of three. The SSM-1 weighs 660 kg, and is fitted with
a single 225 kg HE warhead. There is no information in the literature
suggesting that Japan may attempt to modify the SSM-1 to carry a nuclear,
chemical, or biological warhead.
Type 87 SSM-1B
In 1990, Japan began development of the SSM-1B, a ship-based version of the
SSM. The missile entered service with the commissioning of the hydrofoil
fast attack craft (Sparviero class) in March 1993. Like the SSM-1, the
SSM-1B is stored and launched from cylindrical launcher containers. The
missile has the same launch weight and range of the SSM-1, but has a more
advanced radar system and electronics package.
The Japanese began development of the XSSM, a longer range version of the
SSM-1, in 1994. Little is known about the technical specifications of this
program, other than it is believed that the missile will have range of 250
km, and that it may enter service in 2000.
Cooperation With Other Nations and Non-State Actors
Since 1967, the Japanese government has banned the export of Japanese
military weapons and technology. This ban is largely a reflection of strong
pacifism in public opinion that emerged after the Second World War.
Although the ban is not formal or statutory, the Japanese Government
reconfirms its no-overseas arms-sales policies with each annual defense
white paper. 10 Despite this ban, on at least two occasions Japanese
companies have illegally transferred military technology and equipment to
other nations. There is, however, no information in the body of literature
suggesting that Japanese companies have directly transferred military
technology or equipment to non state actors such as terrorist groups.
Toshiba Machinery Case
In 1982, the Toshiba Machinery Corporation, a subsidiary of the Japanese
electronics corporation Toshiba, sold the Soviet Union computer controlled
milling machines. These machines were delivered to the Soviet Union's
Baltic Naval Shipyard. The transfer of this equipment, which violated
Japan's Trade Law and the COCOM regime, allowed the Soviet Union to lower
the noise levels of its submarine propellers. It is difficult to assess the
damage that this transfer did to the United States' Anti-submarine Warfare
efforts. Some however, asserted at the time that the United States would
have to spend over $30 billion in research and development to recapture the
technological edge that was lost as a result of the transfer.
The JAE-Iran Case
On several different occasions in the 1980's and early 1990's, the Japan
Aviation Electronics Industry Corporation (JAE) transferred to Iran
military equipment and technology produced under license for the American
developed AIM-9 Sidewinder missile and the
F-4 Phantom fighter. Investigations conducted in 1991 and 1992 revealed
that JAE illegally exported 12 gyroscopes and an accelerometer for use in
F-4 navigation systems between 1982 and 1984, and that the company
transferred 1,300 stabilizing flywheels for Sidewinder missiles between
1988 and 1989. JAE ultimately pleaded guilty to violating both Japanese and
U.S. Export Control laws in addition to the terms of the U.S.- Japan
In addition to these violations, several studies have contended that
Japanese commercial products have been used by military forces around the
world as a result of commercial "spin-on" to military applications. Bates
Gill, Kensuke Ebata & Matthew Stephenson state in their article, "Japan's
Export Control Initiatives: Meeting New Nonproliferation Challenges" that
Civilian trucks exported to North Korea were allegedly turned into rocket
launchers and that large numbers of Japanese four wheel drive vehicles have
been used by foreign militaries as patrol trucks, and, in some instances,
have been mounted with machine guns. 11
In addition, Richard A. Bitzinger and Stephen M. Kosiak in their paper,
"Windows of Opportunity: The Potential Military Application of Japanese
Advanced Commercial Technology Transfers to East Asia," argue that "it is
highly likely" that Japan has provided technical support and equipment that
has been indirectly used to strengthen the military-industrial base of East
Asian NIC's like South Korea and Taiwan. As an example, the two authors
assert that Japanese technology and assistance "was critical" to the
development of South Korea's steel, shipbuilding and electronics
industries. They argue that continued infrastructure assistance and
development by Japan to East Asia's NIC's will inevitably diffuse to
military industrial uses. 12
Nowhere in the body of literature, however, do any authors state that Japan
has transferred ballistic missiles or ballistic missile related technology
to other nations or to non-state actors such as terrorist groups.
Japan and International Arms Control
There is a consensus in the literature that in recent years Japan has
assumed a lead role in promoting international arms control. Japan has
taken an active role in forming the post-COCOM arrangement, and has been a
key contributor to the Nonproliferation Treaty, Australia Group, Nuclear
Suppliers Group and the MTCR.
In recent years, Japanese officials have promoted both regional and global
arms control efforts. In January 1994 Japan joined Sweden, Australia, and
the Netherlands in an attempt to bring China into the NSG. Later that year,
it appears that Japan played a central role in persuading South Korea to
join the arrangement. In addition to participating in numerous bilateral
and multilateral consultations, Japan has coordinated three seminars on
nonproliferation export controls for Asian nations. 13
There is agreement in the literature that the Toshiba scandal of 1987
marked a turning point for Japan's export control system. Since the late
1980's Japan has placed
high priority in strengthening its export control system in order to assure
the responsible use of Japanese exports.
Japan's Export Controls: Organization and Structure
The structure of Japan's current export control system is based on the
Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Control Law and two related cabinet
orders, The Export Trade Control Order (ETCO), which controls the exports
of goods, and the Foreign Exchange Control Order (FECO), which controls the
exports of technologies. 14 The Ministry of International Trade and
Industry (MITI) has sole authority to oversee the implementation of these
laws and regulations. Within MITI, the Security Export Control Division is
responsible for implementing export control regulations and issuing export
licenses. This office also coordinates an International Import Certificate
(IC) / Delivery Verification Certificate (DV) system, and controls the
re-export of items. Although this office holds the central authority for
Japanese export controls, the office closely cooperates with other
government agencies, particularly with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
(MOFA), and the Ministry of Finance (MOF). Japanese Customs and other law
enforcement agencies have also worked closely with the Security Export
Control Division in enforcing export controls.
The Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Control Law specifies that exporters
must obtain an export license from MITI for the export of specific goods
and technologies that may have security implications for certain
destinations. Controlled goods and destinations are described in the
Attached Table One of the Export Trade Control Order. This list consists of
16 sections, which correspond to the control lists of international arms
control agreements and regimes. In general, this list is identical to the
lists of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)/Zanngger Committee, Australia
Group, and MTCR. In September 1996, the Japanese government amended the
relevant cabinet orders and Ministerial Ordinances to reflect the control
lists of the Wassenaar Arrangement.
MITI Ordinance 16 lists Japan's "catch all" controls and the "know"
standard. In the post-COCOM era, the European Union has formally adopted
domestic export control legislation known as the "catch all" system. In
such a system, companies are required to obtain an export license if they
believe that their exports will be used for military use, even if the good
is not listed as a controlled item. Like the United States, Japan believes
that the catch all system is far too complex and binding, and have adopted
a system called the "know" system.
The know system lists the goods that are to be controlled. Any company that
suspects that its goods may be used for military purposes is required to
consult with the government and apply for an export license. The majority
of goods without specific military use are considered uncontrolled goods.
In Japan, a second category of goods is subject to control. An exporter is
required to seek an export license or report to MITI if the company
believes that the exported material/technology may be used for the
development of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. MITI
has not implemented the know system through formal regulations, but rather
as "government enforced directions."
Japanese law requires that any dual-use equipment that may be used in the
production of Weapons of Mass Destruction, arms, or arms components require
export licenses wherever they are exported. As a supporter of the
provisional post-COCOM regime, Japan also requires that licenses be
obtained for the export of equipment to Iran, Iraq, Libya and North Korea.
Japanese law allows some companies to acquire special bulk licenses for a
number of former COCOM members, including, Austria, Finland, Hong Kong,
Ireland, New Zealand, Sweden and Switzerland ( more nations will probably
be added to this list). Transfers to another group of nations, which
include the remaining members of Wassenaar and South Korea), may be
eligible for reduced licensing requirements. However, Japanese companies
are not required by law to apply the objective criteria for "catch-all"
controls when exporting equipment to the 21 nations that participate in all
of the non-proliferation treaties and regimes that have catch-all control
Companies must determine whether the material they are exporting is subject
to trade restrictions prior to completing customs declarations. The Export
Inspection Officers of MITI, however, will consult exporters about the
technical specifications of the cargoes if requested.
Japanese Industry and Export Controls
There is much agreement in the literature that Japan's export control
policy subjects Japanese industry to significant restraints. There is also
a consensus that Japanese industry has altered its export control standards
in the post-cold war era to shift from COCOM controls to specific
nonproliferation controls: export controls that once focused on prohibiting
the transfer of list-specific military equipment and technology to former
Communist nations now center on controlling sensitive items that may be
used to construct Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and missile systems
that can be used for their delivery. To further its export control goals,
it appears that Japanese industry has attempted to create an internal
management system to deal with the new Nonproliferation controls that have
replaced the COCOM specific system.
After the Toshiba scandal, MITI requested in February 1988 that Japanese
companies that produce/export high technology material establish a
self-regulating Compliance Program (CP) to help ensure the responsible use
of Japanese exports. Following the establishment of a Compliance Program,
MITI inspects the corporate system and assesses whether the program meets
MITI standards. It appears that companies that fail to possess MITI
compliant CP systems are more likely to have their exports abroad delayed
than companies with compliant systems. MITI does not have set criteria for
judging the effectiveness of a company's CP system.
Center for Information on Strategic Technology (CISTEC)
In April 1989, MITI established the Center for Information on Strategic
Technology (CISTEC) to work with Japanese exporters to improve industry
compliance with export control regulations. Later renamed the Center for
Information on Security Export Controls, CISTEC has worked with over 900
Japanese corporations to develop compliance programs that are registered
CISTEC's central organizational office is the Executive Research Committee.
This office comprises six major committees and 18 subcommittees that
evaluate the strategic implications and foreign availability of different
technologies, and examines developments in technology as they pertain to
international nonproliferation efforts. The committees ultimately attempt
to construct guidelines for export controls, and seek to create efficient
export licensing procedures that maximize both efficiency and security.
This committee frequently offers analysis and recommendations to the
CISTEC attempts to enhance the reliability and efficiency of Japanese
export controls in a number of different ways. First, CISTEC works directly
with Japanese companies to help them develop their own export control
arrangements. CISTEC provides advice and support to Japanese companies that
have created, or wish to create, their own compliance programs. Since its
inception, CISTEC has developed an on-line computer system for export
license applications in conjunction with the Japan Machinery Export
Administration. CISTEC has also provided Japanese companies with books,
manuals and reference guides on security export controls that may provide
useful guidance to a company's operations people. CISTEC publications
include the bimonthly CISTEC Journal, the monthly Security Trade Review,
and the periodical CISTEC Express News. Furthermore, CISTEC provides
Japanese companies with information on the technological and production
capabilities of nations in the developing world, including, information
confirming the end-use of items on nonproliferation control lists.
Second, CISTEC has cooperated with Japanese industry in holding government
sponsored seminars and meetings to support the creation of export control
systems in other Asian nations to assure the responsible use of Japanese
exports. In this regard, CISTEC independently works with other Asian
nations to assist and improve their compliance and inspection systems. In
addition, CISTEC sends lecturers to collaborate with members of foreign
research institutes and NGO's. 15
The Self-Restraint of Japanese Industry
In spite of the activities of both CISTEC and the Japanese Government, some
representatives from Japanese industry have asserted that their companies'
internal export control mechanisms were more comprehensive than those
required by Japanese law.
For instance, representatives from Toshiba Corp. and Mitsubishi Electric
insisted that both their companies exercised considerable self-restraint
when they exported advanced commercial dual-use technology. Although such
statements must be viewed with considerable skepticism, some have concluded
that the widespread antimilitarist feelings that exist throughout Japan
drive firms to ensure that Japanese technology is not diverted for military
use; companies do not want to risk being the source of another "Toshiba
Affair." Authors like Richard A. Bitzinger and Steven M. Kosiak have
insisted that, "the `cultural' discomforts with military associations
produce some of the strongest controls in existence in Japan." 16
In addition to the cultural factors which allegedly drive Japanese
companies to behave with considerable self-restraint when exporting
technology abroad, Bitzinger and Kosiak also concluded that Japanese
companies were unwilling to export high-tech products abroad (particularly
to Asia) out of fear that the relative strength of Japanese exports would
be weakened in the international marketplace. To substantiate their
assertions, they provided data which illustrates that the transfer of high
technology exports to South Korea and Taiwan has declined steadily since
the late 1980's.
Weaknesses in Japanese Export Controls
Cost of CP Systems
According to Gill, Ebata and Stephenson, Japanese companies have expressed
concern about the cost of implementing a comprehensive internal CP system.
While most companies will comply with an export control system that
requires companies to check their customers, the competitive demands of the
market have prohibited Japanese corporations from adhering to these
obligations. In order to monitor their exports, companies must create their
own security databases and conduct extensive research on both customers and
countries. This has proven particularly difficult for smaller companies
which often have both limited manpower and funding
for such endeavors. 17
Dual-Use and End-Use Uncertainty
The research conducted by Bitzinger and Kosiak concludes that
the Japanese government has strictly regulated the transfer of weapons,
military technology and defense related items since the Toshiba Scandal in
1987. Their study, however, contends that government controls are weak over
the transfer of dual-use items. Japanese export controls do not use the
term "dual-use" when classifying technology for export. Rather, export
licenses are issued based on the designated end-use of the item instead of
its potential application. Thus, some components and technologies may be
exported if their immediate purpose is designated as non-military, even if
these systems can be used for military purposes. 18
The authors conclude that this is the most problematic aspect of Japan's
export control system. Japanese companies have ultimately transferred
dual-use technology and material to Asian nations that were ultimately used
in military applications because of such vague distinctions.
In their research, Bitzinger and Kosiak do not present any information
suggesting that the Japanese government has attempted to amend its export
control standards to include potential dual-use items. In "Export Controls:
Related Issues and Measures in Japanese Industries," however, Michio Yoneta
asserts that the Japanese government in
recent years has placed increased priority on controlling the end
use of Japanese exports. Yoneta writes, "controls of end user/end
use are becoming increasingly important in assuring that no commodities
exported to these Asian markets from Japan would be transferred to
countries involved in conflicts or those engaged in the development or
manufacturing of weapons of mass destruction and missiles via diversion."
19 Yoneta, however, does not state that the Japanese government has enacted
any concrete mechanisms to control the end use of Japanese exports.
Gill, Ebata and Stephenson also assert that the dual-use/end-use
distinction has been a particularly problematic aspect of Japan's export
control efforts. Japanese companies have found it very difficult to
determine the end-use and end-users of certain equipment and material.
Industry has claimed that it is virtually impossible for companies to
determine the end-use of raw materials that have a variety of applications.
Making such judgments often requires an extensive security and export
control database that many companies do not have. 20
The Know System
Gill, Ebata and Stephenson assert that the "know" system possesses a number
of weaknesses that compromise the effectiveness of Japanese export
controls. They conclude that the know system lacks specificity insofar that
it places pressure on Japanese companies about how much they are to know
about the material they are exporting, and whether the export will be in
violation of MITI directives. Gill, Ebata and Stephenson write that
Japanese companies have lobbied the government to tell them how much they
should know, and how much caution they should exercise. They conclude that
Japanese corporations want the government to establish clear standards that
can be universally applied to all transactions. Companies want the
government to clearly describe nations of concern, the criteria for
defining these nations, a comprehensive list of the goods not requiring
export licenses, clear standards of end-users and end-use, the
responsibilities of Japanese companies, and the names of Japanese companies
with CP certification. Although more detailed information and guidelines
would facilitate a company's export control initiatives, Gill, Ebata and
Stephenson state that it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible,
for the Japanese government to make all requested clarifications. 21
1. Michael Chinworth, Inside Japan's Defense: Technology, Economics &
Strategy (Brassey's Inc., Washington) 1992, p. 36.
2. Andrew Wilson, ed., Jane's Space Directory 1993-94, (Jane's Information
Group Limited, Surrey, UK) p. 63.
3. Duncan Lennox, ed. Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, (Jane's Information
Group Limited, Surrey, UK) May 1997, JSWS-Issue 24.
4. Aviation Week and Space Technology, "H-2 Commercial Use Limited By High
Costs," January 31, 1994, p. 52.
5. Ibid., also see Aviation Week and Space Technology, "H-2 Launch Moves
Japan Toward Goal," February 14, 1994, p. 30.
6. See FBIS-EAS-96-227, "Japan: Expert Urging Japan To Deploy Nuclear
Missile,"October 1, 1996. While the Japanese media speculated that Japan
would one day turn the H-2 into an ICBM, Nisohachi Hyodo, a Japanese
defense policy author wrote in the Tokyo Shokun that the H-2 was too big
and too heavy to convert into an ICBM. In addition, he argued that the
rocket would not be a credible deterrent if it was turned into an ICBM
because the system took for too long to prepare for launch because of its
liquid hydrogen and oxygen fueling process. Hyodo, however, states that the
Japanese should pursue an intercontinental capability with the M-3SII
because of its lighter weight, yet sufficient ability to deliver an atomic
warhead to a range of
7. Duncan Lennox, ed. Jane's Strategic Weapon Systems, (Jane's Information
Group Limited, Surrey, UK) May 1997, JSWS-Issue 24.
8. For more information, see NASDA's homepage.
9. Aviation Week and Space Technology, "U.S. Strap-ons Pickled for H-2A,"
March 17, 1997, p. 40.
10. See Reinhard Drifte, Arms Production in Japan: The Military
Applications of Civilian Technologies (Westview Press, Boulder, 1986)
Chapter 6. There has also been considerable speculation among Western
observers that Japan may terminate this ban and become a weapons exporter
at some point in the future. For more information on this, see The
Economist, "Japan's Weapons Makers: Ready and Able," February 2, 1991, p.
11. See Bates Gill, Kensuke Ebata & Matthew Stephenson, "Japan's Export
Control Initiatives: Meeting New Nonproliferation Challenges,"
Nonproliferation Review, Fall 1996, p. 34.
12. Richard A. Bitzinger and Steven M. Kosiak, "Windows of Opportunity: The
Potential Military Application of Japanese Advanced Commercial Technology
Transfers to East Asia," The Defense Budget Project, Washington, September
1995, pp. 33-34.
13. See Richard T. Cupitt, "Nonproliferation Export Controls in East Asia,"
Journal of East Asian Affairs, Summer/Fall 1997. These seminars took place
in October 1993, January 1995, and January/February 1996.
14. The Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Control Law and ETCO were both
established in 1949; FECO was enacted in 1980.
15. For a detailed description of CISTEC's past initiatives, see Gill,
Ebata and Stephenson, p. 36, also see Cupitt, p. 463.
16. Bitzinger and Kosiak, p. 37.
17. Gill, Ebata and Stephenson, p. 36-37.
18. Bitzinger and Kosiak, p. 38.
19. Michio Yoneta, "Export Controls: Related Issues and Measures in
Japanese Industries," in Gary K. Bertsch et al. ed. U.S. and Japanese
Nonproliferation Export Controls: Theory, Description, and Analysis,
University Press of America, 1996, p. 127.
20. Gill, Ebata and Stephenson, p. 39.
21. For more information on the Dual-Use and End-Use issue see Gill, Ebata
and Stephenson, p. 38, and Bitzinger and Kosiak, pp. 33-38.