Trade Control Department of the Security Export Control Policy Division under The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) oversees Japanese export control and compliance.

METI cooperates with a number of other government institutions including but not limited to:

  • Japanese Customs
  • Japanese National Police Agency (NPA)
  • Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)
  • Japanese Coast Guard (JCG)

The build-up of the Japanese export control system includes a dual-use list consisting of 16 categories including arms control and a Munitions List. Further, Japan operates with a list of sanctioned countries, which seem to correspond to the countries embargoes by the UN.

The 16 dual-use list categories are:
Category 1: Wassenaar Arrangement Munitions List, Arms
Category 2: Nuclear Suppliers Group parts 1 and 2
Category 3: Australia Group, material for chemical and biological weapons
Category 4: Missile Technology Control Regime, equipment for missiles
Category 5: Wassenaar Arrangement Category 1
Category 6: Wassenaar Arrangement Category 2
Category 7: Wassenaar Arrangement Category 3
Category 8: Wassenaar Arrangement Category 4
Category 9: Wassenaar Arrangement Category 5
Category 10: Wassenaar Arrangement Category 6
Category 11: Wassenaar Arrangement Category 7
Category 12: Wassenaar Arrangement Category 8
Category 13: Wassenaar Arrangement Category 9
Category 14: Wassenaar Arrangement Munitions List except for Category 1 above
Category 15: Very Sensitive Items
Category 16: Catch-All items

Japan enforces Catch-All controls in a similar way as is done in Europe, i.e. a license is required if (“the Three Principles on Arms Export”):

  • The items may contribute to the proliferation of WMD
  • The exporter suspects or is aware that the end-user may use the items in relation to development of WMD.
  • The exporter is informed by the Japanese government (METI) that a license is required.

The Japanese Center for Information on Security Trade Controls has published a booklet describing the Japanese approach to export control. A presentation providing an Overview of Japanese Export Control Legal Framework is also available.

Both UN sanctions and “The Foreign End-user List” are part of the Japanese sanctions program. Sanctions, legislation and general trade control are described here.