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Cablegate: Oslo Convention On Cluster Munitions Will Not

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OO RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #1748/01 1770927
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 250927Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5393
INFO RUEHXP/ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 4099
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 2685
RUEHDL/AMEMBASSY DUBLIN PRIORITY 0139
RUEHHE/AMEMBASSY HELSINKI PRIORITY 0307
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 2394
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 1197
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 0094
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM PRIORITY 0663
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA PRIORITY 8579
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA PRIORITY 0955
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE PRIORITY 2308
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO PRIORITY 9164
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 3357
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 1263
RHMFISS/USFJ PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMUSKOREA SEOUL KOR PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0506
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 04 TOKYO 001748

SIPDIS

DOD FOR OSD/APSA BASALLA
JOINT STAFF FOR J5 WEIR/KOSINSKI
PACOM FOR J00/J01/J5
USFJ FOR J00/J01/J5

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/25/2023
TAGS: PREL MARR MOPS PGOV JA NATO
SUBJECT: OSLO CONVENTION ON CLUSTER MUNITIONS WILL NOT
PREVENT U.S.-JAPAN MILITARY OPERATIONS

REF: SECSTATE 66793

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Joseph Donovan. Reasons 1.4 (b)
and (d).

1. (S) SUMMARY: Japan believes the Oslo Convention on Cluster
Munitions (CM) will not interfere with United States Forces
in Japan's (USFJ) operations or restrict interoperability
with Japan's Self Defense Forces (JSDF), Ministry of Foreign
Affairs Deputy Director General Shimbo told the Embassy's
Political Minister Counselor and USFJ representatives. Tokyo
interprets Article 21 as allowing continued military
cooperation and operations involving CM. Examples include
transportation of U.S.-owned CM by JSDF or Japanese civilian
personnel, increased stockpiling of CM at U.S. military
facilities and civilian ports during contingencies. DDG
Shimbo warned, however, that if the United Kingdom asks the
United States to remove its CM from UK territory there would
be tremendous domestic pressure for Japan to do the same.
Japan expects to sign the convention in December, barring a
positive outcome of the Conventional on Certain Conventional
Weapons (CCW), which Japan sees as the only way to restrict
China's and Russia's CM activities. Legislation implementing
the Oslo Convention could be sent to the Diet as early as the
next regular session opening in January 2009. In the
meantime, the Ministry of Defense and JSDF will consider how
to get rid of Japan's CM stockpiles while preventing gaps in
defense capabilities. End summary.

---------------------------------------
Oslo No Affect on U.S.-Japan Operations
---------------------------------------

2. (S) The Oslo Convention text agreed to at Dublin will not
interfere with USFJ's operations or restrict interoperability
between U.S. military and Japan Self Defense Forces (JSDF),
MOFA Disarmament, Non-proliferation and Science Department
Deputy Director-General Masatoshi Shimbo told Embassy
Political Minister Counselor and USFJ representatives during
a briefing on the May Dublin conference. Japan decided to
join the consensus approving the text after much discussion
at Dublin on definitions and insertion of language allowing
military cooperation and operations with non-State parties.
By joining the consensus, Japan is also being consistent with
its policy to take seriously the humanitarian concerns caused
by CM. DDG Shimbo said Japan will be taking security issues
into account as it considers concrete steps toward signing
and ratifying the Convention

------------------------------
Article 21 Permits Cooperation
-------------------------------

3. (S) DDG Shimbo said the critical part of the Convention is
Article 21 paragraph 3, which Japan interprets as enabling
the United States and Japan to continue to engage in military
cooperation and conduct operations that involve U.S.-owned
CM. This includes but is not limited to:

-- Transportation and storage of U.S.-owned CM by Japan Self
Defense Forces or Japanese civilian personnel.

-- Movement of additional CM into U.S. military facilities
and JSDF bases;

-- Stockpiling and handling of CM at civilian ports during
contingencies.

-------------------
Treaty Text Defined
-------------------

4. (S) DDG Shimbo explained how Japan is interpreting or
otherwise working around language in the convention that
could be problematic to U.S. operations in Japan.

-- Article 1 paragraph 1(b) ""retain"": Although Japan was
unable to get the word ""retain"" removed or changed, the
Japanese delegation at the Dublin meeting stated during an
intervention that Japan considers ""retain"" to include
ownership and property rights. Therefore, Japanese civilian
and Self Defense Forces personnel can transport CM in Japan
as long as they do not take legal ownership of the CM.
Shimbo noted the intervention had been verbal and was not
reflected in any written or official understanding that came
out of the Dublin conference. If challenged on this point
during Diet deliberations, however, Shimbo said that the
Japanese government would most likely reiterate this stance
for the record.

-- Article 2 paragraph 8 definition of ""transfer"": The
Government of Japan defines ""transfer"" to include physical
movement into or from Japan and/and the signing over of title
to and shifting of control of CM, i.e. ""transfer"" only occurs
when all criteria are met. Hence, the United States can move
CM into and out of Japan, and within Japan, as long Japanese
entities or personnel are not taking title to the CM. (Note:
MOFA officials said NATO allies, with the possible exception
of Norway, are interpreting Article 2 paragraph 8 in the same
way. NGOs assert that either/either physical transfer or
change in title.)

-----------------------
UK Request to Remove CM
-----------------------

5. (S) DDG Shimbo said he had heard that the United Kingdom
may ask the United States to remove CM banned by the Oslo
Convention from its territory. If this occurs, there will be
tremendous pressure for Japan to follow in the UK's
footsteps, DDG Shimbo warned. He asked to be kept apprised
of any developments in U.S.-UK dialogue on the matter.

---------------------
Steps to Ratification
---------------------

6. (S) Barring an alternative coming out of the Convention on
Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), DDG Shimbo said, Japan
will sign the Oslo Convention in December. The government
would then draft implementing legislation to be presented
along with the Convention to the Diet. The earliest this
would occur would be during the next regular session from
January to June 2009. DDG Shimbo reiterated that MOFA and
MOD are confident that they can defend Article 21 in the
Diet, as they will point to official statements and verbal
interventions made at the Dublin meeting to show consistency
on positions and definitions.

-------------------------
Japan's Cluster Munitions
-------------------------

7. (S) MOD Japan-US Defense Cooperation Division Deputy
Director Eisuke Tanabe stated that Defense Minister Ishiba's
top priority is to avoid a defense capability gap. One
option would be to not sign the Oslo Convention or postpone
ratification, but this is unlikely given that Chief Cabinet
Secretary Machimura has publicly stated Japan will ""take a
step forward"" on this issue. The Self Defense Forces are
studying how to deal with the anticipated obligation, and the
associated costs, to remove CM from the SDF arsenal without
creating a capabilities gap.

--------------
Capability Gap
--------------

8. (S) Tanabe said the SDF will seek to fill any gap in
U.S.-Japan defense capabilities created by the Oslo Accord
and would not look to shift this burden to USFJ. Shimbo said
JSDF faced a key question regarding whether to purchase new,
non-cluster-type ammunition for the multiple launch rocket
system (MLRS). Asked to confirm media reports indicating the
Oslo Convention would require the JSDF to eliminate all of
their MLRS launchers, Tanabe replied that all options are on
the table. Accordingly, the Defense Minister directed MOD to
look at all options that would minimize capabilities gaps
between U.S. forces and the JSDF. MOD could not provide a
recapitalization timeline or schedule.

9. (S) USFJ representatives asked Tanabe to consider the
affect the reduction in JSDF's capabilities might have on
Japan's ability to play a greater role in security affairs
worldwide. The U.S. side noted elimination of JSDF MLRS
launchers, in conjunction with Tokyo's decision to cancel the
AH-1 Apache program, might reduce the Ground Self-Defense
Force's ability to engage at long distances, and make
interoperability with first-tier militaries more difficult.
Such moves also contribute to the capabilities gap between
the two forces. Following the meeting, Tanabe observed that
MOD would not require a bilateral working group to address
future interoperability issues.

----------------
Next Step - CCW
----------------

10. (S) DDG Shimbo said Japan would send a delegation to the
July CCW meeting, noting that Prime Minister Fukuda is
committed to contributing to the CCW process. Japan
recognizes that all of the major CM producers, particularly
neighbors China and Russia, are part of the CCW. With
Japan's use of CM limited by the Oslo Convention, it is now
even more in Japan's interest for there to be stricter
controls on CM possession and use in the region. The CCW is
the only venue to make this happen, as well as to effectively
balance humanitarian concerns and military utility of CM.
DDG Shimbo asked if there are any changes in U.S. positions
in the CCW. Embassy Political Minister Counselor drew on
points in reftel to express appreciation for Japan's efforts
at Dublin to maintain interoperability between our forces.
The United States will continue to support and play an active
role in negotiations on CM within the CCW framework,
PolMinCouns told DDG Shimbo.
SCHIEFFER

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