Home PoA Implementation Kit

Brokering Control


: National Report on the Implementation of the PoA, 2010 and 2008 
: 06/05/2011
National Report
: Conventional Arms Division, Disarmament, Non-proliferation and Science Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
: guntsu@mofa.go.jp

National laws, regulations and administrative procedures:

Ordnance Manufacturing Law, 1953; Explosives Control Law, 1950; Firearms and Swords Control Law, 1958. Japan is considering revising laws and regulations in order to prohibit the manufacture or transfer of SALW which are not marked or inappropriately marked. Japan has already amended legislation (“Firearms and Swords Control Law” and “Ordnance Manufacturing Law”) to strengthen penal regulations of the unlicensed manufacture or import of firearms.



National Marking Practices:

Japan undertakes measures duly to mark all SALW possessed by the government. The Ordnance Manufacturing Law does not require the manufacturer's name to be marked on each SALW. However, in practice all manufacturers do mark a serial number on each SALW. In addition, the manufacturer's name, type of weapon, date of manufacture, name of state of origin and other special signs such as those of the Self Defence Forces etc. may be marked. While there are no specific measures for the identification or tracing of ammunition or explosives under the Explosives Control Law, the legislation does require manfacturers to indicate the type, amount, location and datae of manufacture of explosives both on their inner and outer packages in order to prevent explosive-related disasters. Serial numbers are marked on SALW possessed by the government, and registered numbers are marked on SALW possessed by civilians licensed under the Prefectural Public Safety Commissions.

Marking at the time of import:

Marking of SALW in the possession of government armed and security forces:

Measures against the removal or alteration of markings:

A measure using laser technology against tampering of marks is adopted.


Accurate and comprehensive records for all marked SALW within their territory:

Records of all marked SALW are maintained, including serial numbers, registration numbers, types and models, date of manufacture and details of SALW dealers. Records of the SALW of police are kept during their possession. Records of the SALW of the Self Defence forces are kept during their possession and a year after disposal. Records of SALW held by licensed civilians are kept both by the National Police Agency and local police offices. The Ordnance Manfacturing Law requires manufacturers to maintain records but does not stipulate for what duration. In practice, most manufacturers keep records for over 10 years. The Explosives Control Law does not require records to be kept of ammunition and explosives for the purposes of tracing. However, it requires to indicate types, amounts, places and dates of manufacture of explosives both on their inner and outer packages as technical standards of manufacture, from viewpoints to prevent explosives-related disasters and ensure public safety.


Measures taken for undertaking traces and responding to tracing requests

The records of all marked SALW contain detailed information which enables the government to identify the country of manufacture where this is not marked. Regarding international tracing, it is possible to provide information of stored records in accordance with domestic laws. In case that an illegal SALW is confiscated, a route of its circulation and transaction is traced by its serial number through organizations such as INTERPOL. Japan participated in the pilot project to establish INTERPOL's International Weapons and Explosives Tracking System.

Operational Informaton Exchange:

Japan actively cooperates with law enforcement agencies and judicial authorities of other countries as well as Interpol. As Japan's police system, the Koban system, investigation techniques and criminal identification techniques are highly regarded, Japan has been offering technical assistance including seminars, secondment of experts and invites police officers to Japan for training.

Needs and Request for Assistance::

Implementation challenges and opportunities:

Japan plans to establish inter-ministerial meetings on the ITI. The approval from the Diet is necessary for the Government of Japan to conclude “Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime,” which aims to establish marking system of manufactured or imported portable firearms, and enact its necessary domestic laws.