Five-Year Review: State Party Japan was among the first 30 ratifications to trigger the convention’s entry into force on 1 August 2010. It enacted implementing legislation for the convention in July 2009. Japan has participated in all of the convention’s meetings and served as its first universalization coordinator. Japan has condemned new use of cluster munitions, including in Syria. It provided an initial transparency report for the convention in January 2011.
Japan has not used cluster munitions, but it produced and imported them in the past. In February 2015, Japan announced the completion of the destruction of a stockpile of 14,011 cluster munitions and 2 million submunitions. It is not retaining any cluster munitions for research or training.
Japan signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008 and ratified on 14 July 2009. It was among the first 30 ratifications to trigger the convention’s entry into force on 1 August 2010.
Japan’s national implementation legislation, Law No. 85 enacted on 17 July 2009, bans production and possession of cluster munitions and affirms Japan’s obligation to dispose of its stockpiled cluster munitions. Japan has stated that the use of cluster munitions is prohibited under the Explosive Control Act and other laws, while transfer is regulated by laws governing foreign exchange and trade.
Japan submitted its initial Article 7 report for the Convention on Cluster Munitions in January 2011 and has provided annual updated reports since, most recently in April 2015.
Japan participated in the Oslo Process that created the convention and its position evolved significantly over time to allow it to join in the consensus adoption of the convention in Dublin in May 2008.
Japan engages proactively in the work of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It has participated in all of the convention’s Meetings of States Parties, including the convention’s Fifth Meeting of States Parties in San José, Costa Rica in September 2014, where it provided an update on its stockpile destruction. Japan has attended every intersessional meeting of the convention in Geneva, most recently in June 2015.
Upon announcing the completion of its stockpile destruction on 10 February 2015, Japan affirmed its intent to continue to play a proactive role in promoting universalization of the convention as well as clearance and victim assistance. At the UN General Assembly (UNGA) First Committee on Disarmament and International Security in October 2014, Japan called on states that are not party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions to accede “at an earliest possible date and join our collective efforts to end the suffering caused by these weapons.” It stated it was “deeply concerned by the reported use of cluster munitions.”
Japan has condemned the use of cluster munitions in Syria on several occasions since October 2012, when it stated that it was “deeply concerned by the reported use of cluster munitions” and that “the use of these weapons by any actor is entirely unacceptable.” Japan has voted in favor of UNGA resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria, including Resolution 69/189 on 18 December 2014, which expressed “outrage” at the continued use. Japan has voted in favor of four Human Rights Council resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently on 2 July 2015.
The Japan Campaign to Ban Landmines (JCBL) works in support of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Japan is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.
Japan has elaborated its views on several important issues relating to interpretation and implementation of the convention. The government maintains that United States (US) military bases in Japan, being under US jurisdiction and control, are not on Japanese territory and therefore, the possession of cluster munitions by US forces does not violate the national law or the convention.
Also, according to the government, Clause 4.4 of Law No. 85 allows Japanese nationals, both civilians and members of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF), to transport cluster munitions that are owned by the US. In April 2013, a JSDF representative said that the JSDF had not been involved in any transportation of US cluster munitions.
During the negotiations of the convention in May 2008, Japan was one of the strongest backers of a provision on “interoperability” or joint military operations with states not party that may use cluster munitions (Article 21). In a June 2008 US State Department cable made public by Wikileaks in 2011, a senior Japanese official apparently told the US that Japan interprets the convention as enabling the US and Japan to continue to engage in military cooperation and conduct operations that involve US-owned cluster munitions, including but not limited to “Transportation and storage of US-owned CM [cluster munitions] by Japan Self Defense Forces or Japanese civilian personnel; Movement of additional CM into US military facilities and JSDF bases; and Stockpiling and handling of CM at civilian ports during contingencies.” The Japanese official reportedly confirmed that “Japanese civilian and Self Defense Forces personnel can transport CM [cluster munitions] in Japan as long as they do not take legal ownership of the CM” and “the United States can move CM into and out of Japan, and within Japan, as long as Japanese entities and personnel are not taking title to the CM.” 
A December 2008 US cable made public by Wikileaks in 2011 states that Japan “recognizes U.S. forces in Japan are not under Japan’s control and hence the GOJ [Government of Japan] cannot compel them to take action or to penalize them.” According to the cable, a senior Japanese official reportedly “explained that the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) allows the United States to stockpile and store CM on JSDF bases, while Article 21.3 of the CCM [Convention on Cluster Munitions] allows JSDF personnel to handle U.S. CM and U.S. forces and JSDF to engage in bilateral operations and activities involving CM. The critical overlap of U.S. forces activities with the CCM implementing legislation that METI [Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry] is drafting is the contracting of Japanese companies and nationals by U.S. forces to transport and handle CM in Japan.” The cable notes that Japan “is interpreting Article 21.4(a) to mean Japan is obligated to not allow U.S. forces to develop, produce or acquire CM in Japan.”
Japan has been reluctant to publicly discuss its views on the convention’s prohibition on assistance during joint military operations or on transit and foreign stockpiling, but it has not denied the characterization of its policy as indicated in these State Department cables.
On the prohibition on investment in the production of cluster munitions, Japan stated in June 2011 that “there is no clear agreement on financing of cluster munition production” and noted “it is up to each state party to determine with their private sector” concerning the question of disinvestment. In 2009, the government said that it has not studied investment and loans by Japanese financial institutions to private firms producing cluster munitions, but said it would try to keep financial institutions informed of the convention and request that they carry out banking services in keeping with it.
In 2010, Japan’s three largest banks said they would refrain from financing the manufacture of cluster munitions: Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, and Mizuho Bank. However, according to the 2014 NGO report “Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions: a shared responsibility,” all three financial institutions remain involved in investments in manufacturers of cluster munitions.
In 2010, the Japanese Bankers Association instructed its members to stop financing the production of cluster munitions. In 2011, Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. Ltd. and Nippon Life Insurance Company responded to a JCBL questionnaire that they had halted investment in cluster munition producers, while nine companies said they maintained investments and six did not confirm or deny investing in cluster munition producers.
Use, production, and transfer
Japan has not used cluster munitions, but it produced and imported the weapons in the past. Japan has declared that three private companies that formerly produced cluster munitions have been decommissioned: IHI Aerospace Co. Ltd. in Gunma prefecture, and Ishikawa Seisakusho Ltd. and Komatsu Ltd. in Ishikawa prefecture.
In the initial Article 7 report provided in January 2011, Japan declared a stockpile of 14,011 cluster munitions of four different types containing 2,029,393 explosive submunitions. It has since amended the total number of submunitions to 2,027,907.
Cluster munitions once stockpiled by Japan
Type of munition
M26 rocket, each containing 644 M77 submunitions
M261 rocket, each containing nine M73 submunitions
Type-3 ICM projectile, each containing 64 self-destructing submunitions
CBU-87 bomb, each containing 202 BLU-97 submunitions
Under Article 3 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Japan was required to declare and destroy (or ensure the destruction of) all stockpiled cluster munitions under its jurisdiction and control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 August 2018.
On 9 February 2015, Japan announced the completion of the destruction of its stockpile of cluster munitions, more than five years in advance of its August 2018 deadline. According to its April 2015 transparency report, Japan destroyed a total of 13,683 cluster munitions and 1,961,651 submunitions by the end of 2014, while 328 CBU-87 bombs containing 66,256 submunitions were destroyed in 2015. In 2014 alone, Japan destroyed 4,965 cluster munitions and 962,429 submunitions.
Japan’s Ministry of Defense concluded the contract with private company Nammo Demil Division in August 2011 to destroy the stockpile at demilitarization facilities in Norway (Nammo NAD) and Germany (Nammo Buck) by February 2015. By April 2014, two-thirds of the stockpile had been destroyed.
The M26 rockets were destroyed at Nammo’s facilities in Germany via a destruction process that involved separation of the M77 submunitions, which were then incinerated at a facility equipped with contamination reduction devices. The other types of cluster munitions were destroyed at Nammo’s facilities in Norway in a detonation chamber equipped with contamination clearance devices.
Japan reported that a total of JPY2.8 billion (approximately US$32 million) was budgeted in its 2011 fiscal year for the stockpile destruction. The final cost of the stockpile destruction is not known.
In its initial Article 7 report, Japan declared that it has no cluster munitions retained for training, development, or countermeasure purposes. In September 2013, Japan affirmed that “we have no plan to retain any cluster munitions in accordance with Article 3.6” of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
The US stockpiles cluster munitions on its bases in Japan. In 2009, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the US had not disclosed information to the Japanese government about the type, number, function, and locations of the stockpiles. Local media in Okinawa have reported that US forces in Japan have dropped cluster munitions on bombing ranges during training exercises. In 2010, media reports published photographs of cluster bombs that appeared to be mounted on US fighter aircraft. In the Diet (parliament), Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that the government had sent an inquiry to the US military and the US responded that it does not disclose information on the details of its training program. In June 2010, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in media reports that it is not prohibited for the US to use or retain cluster munitions at US bases in Japan as the bases are not under Japan’s jurisdiction.
 Response to Monitor questionnaire by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 29 March 2010.
 Various periods are covered by the Article 7 reports submitted on 27 January 2011 (for the period from 1 August 2010 to 25 January 2011), 14 May 2012 (for calendar year 2011), 30 April 2013 (for calendar year 2012), April 2014 (for calendar year 2013), and 30 April 2015 (for calendar year 2014).
 For details on Japan’s cluster munition policy and practice through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 100–102. It appears that the United States (US) exerted extensive pressure on Japan throughout the Oslo Process. In 2011, Wikileaks released 21 US Department of State reporting cables for the period from October 2006 to December 2008 that show how the US sought to influence Japan’s engagement in the Oslo Process. One cable dated 7 May 2007 (shortly after the launch of the Oslo Process) stated, “Japan feels compelled to participate in the Oslo process meetings in order to influence any ‘unrealistic’ proposals, maintain positive and growing relations with European nations, and to counter domestic public criticism that Japan is not acting.” See “Japan urges progress on cluster munitions in the CCW,” US Department of State cable 07TOKYO2004 dated 7 May 2007, released by Wikileaks on 16 June 2011.
 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Destruction of Cluster Munitions Completed,” Press Release, 10 February 2015. See also, “Japan scraps cluster munitions kept by SDF,” The Asahi Shimbun, 11 February 2015.
 “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution A/RES/69/189, 18 December 2014. Japan voted in favor of similar resolutions in May and December 2013.
 See, “The grave and deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic,” Human Rights Council Resolution A/HRC/29/L.4, 2 July 2015; “The continuing grave deterioration in the human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UN Human Rights Council Resolution A/HRC/RES/28/20, 27 March 2015; “The continuing grave deterioration in the human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UN Human Rights Council Resolution A/HRC/RES/26/23, 27 June 2014; and “The continuing grave deterioration of the human rights and humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UN Human Rights Council Resolution A/HRC/RES/25/23, 28 March 2014.
 Response to questions in the Diet by Tetsuhiro Hosono, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Minute No. 20, Commerce and Industry Committee, House of Representatives, 24 June 2009.
 This statement information was provided verbally by the Ministry of Defense to a Diet parliamentarian. Email from Junko Utsumi, Coordinator, JCBL, 8 April 2013.
 “Oslo convention on cluster munitions will not prevent US-Japan military operations,” US Department of State cable 08TOKYO1748 dated 25 June 2008, released by Wikileaks on 16 June 2011.
 In the meeting documented by the cable, Japanese officials reportedly proposed drafting “a new Joint Committee agreement that would say the United States will: 1) provide, and continually update, a list of transport companies and contractors to the GOJ; 2) agree to only use those entities to transport or handle CM outside U.S. bases; and 3) ensure the contractors carry documentation from U.S. forces indicating they are contracted to handle munitions.” According to the cable, the US responded, “Developing procedures specific to cluster munitions will greatly reduce the flexibility and could lead to security and operational compromises.” “Consultations with Japan on implementing the Oslo convention on cluster munitions,” US Department of State cable 08TOKYO3532 dated 30 December 2008, released by Wikileaks on 1 September 2011.
 At the first intersessional meetings in 2011, Japan stated that the use of cluster munitions in joint military operations is “totally under control” and warned participants that, “we should not discuss Article 21 here while the appropriate military officials are absent.” Statement of Japan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 30 June 2011. Notes by the CMC and Human Rights Watch (HRW).
 Statement of Japan, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 30 June 2011. Notes by HRW.
 Response to questions in the Diet by Masamichi Kohno, Deputy Director-General, Planning and Coordination Bureau, Financial Services Agency, Commerce and Industry Committee, House of Representatives, 24 June 2009; and response to Monitor questionnaire by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 29 March 2010.
 The banks indicated they would deny any loans for or investments in production of cluster munitions. “Japan banks ban financing cluster arms,” Agence France-Presse, 30 July 2010; and “Megabanks Sumitomo Mitsui and Tokyo-Mitsubishi ban financing of cluster bomb production,” Mainichi Daily News, 30 July 2010.
 PAX, “Worldwide investments in Cluster Munitions: a shared responsibility,” November 2014, p. 22–23.
 The Japanese Bankers Association’s membership is comprised of banks, bank holding companies, and bankers associations in Japan. See Japanese Bankers Association statement, “Banking issues regarding the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” 8 October 2010.
 JCBL Press Release, “Seven Japanese financial institutions invest in cluster munition producers – Survey,” 7 April 2011.
 Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, April 2015. Form B includes mark up in red which provides additional information on Japan’s final stockpile destruction up to the end of February 2015. It reported that the total of 1,437,408 M77 submunitions listed in the previous year’s report was incorrect and provided a corrected figure of 1,435,922.
 The report covers calendar year 2014, but additional mark-up in red shows updates the report to the end of February 2015 and states that Japan no longer possesses a stockpile of cluster munitions. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, April 2015.
 Nammo Press Release, “Nammo Awarded Contract to Demilitarize Cluster Munitions for Japan,” August 2011.
 Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, April 2014. In addition, a total of 76 individual submunitions held by former cluster munition producer Hokkaido NOF Corporation Ltd. in Bibai, Hokkaido were destroyed in February 2011.
 Japan reported the destruction of 1,435,922 M77 submunitions, but the total may be 1,437408 as each M26 rocket contains 644 submunitions so a total of 2,232 rockets would contain a total of 1,437,408 submunitions. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, April 2015.
 Response to questions in the Diet by Shintaro Ito, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Affairs Committee, House of Representatives, 8 May 2009.
 The media reported in September and December 2007 that a US fighter plane took off from Kadena air base with cluster munitions and came back without them. The cluster munitions were reportedly dropped in a training area near the city of Naha, the capital of Okinawa, where most US bases in Japan are located. “F18 with cluster munitions,” Ryukyu Shinpo, 11 December 2007; and “A series of flights with cluster munitions and missiles, the Kadena base,” Ryukyu Shinpo, 13 December 2007.
 “US Fighters from outside of Kadena Air Base, Have they Dropped Cluster Bombs on the Training Area near Okinawa?,” Ryukyu Shinpo, 13 May 2010; and “Cluster Bombs were Carried Back in the Store House. Bombard Training shall be take [sic] place again from today?,” Ryukyu Shinpo, 19 July 2010.
 Response to questions in the Diet by Katsuya Okada, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Committee of Foreign Affairs and Defense, House of Councilors, 18 May 2010.
 “Cluster munitions in the US base not covered by the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” Ryukyu Shinpo, 18 June 2010.