Report by the MTCR Chair: 29th Asian Export Control Seminar in Tokyo, Japan, February 2023

The MTCR Chair, Ambassador Benno Laggner, was invited to attend the 29th Asian Export Control Seminar, which was held from 14-16 February 2023 in Tokyo, and to deliver a presentation on the activities of the MTCR. The Seminar was hosted by the Center for Information on Security Trade Control (CISTEC) and held under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Japan. Representatives from around 30 countries, several international organizations, the four export control regimes and from academic institutions attended the Seminar.

The first and second day of the Seminar featured input presentations and panel discussions. After opening remarks by the Japanese hosts, the Seminar continued with a panel discussion on “Outreach to industry and academia in consideration of increasing importance of advanced technology”. The next two panels highlighted the role and activities of international organizations and of the international export control regimes. In the latter, the MTCR Chair described the structure of the MTCR as well as its relevance, challenges, latest developments and the priorities of the Swiss Chair. Subsequent panels included presentations from Asian countries on the development of their national export control systems and from other participating countries on their implementation of export controls. One session featured presentations on “Emerging technologies and its impact on military modernization”.

On the third day of the Seminar, the Japanese hosts gave each of the four export control regimes the opportunity to hold special outreach events for Asian countries in the form of presentations and the sharing of experience by regime members. The special session on the MTCR was opened by the MTCR Chair. The Chair of the Technical Experts Meeting (TEM) and the Co-Chair of the Licensing and Enforcement Experts Meeting (LEEM) explained in more detail the work of their Experts Groups. Presentations from Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States complemented the event.

The Seminar was a valuable opportunity to deepen the knowledge on export controls among Asian countries, to hear about the development of their export control systems and to discuss national and international approaches to issues such as intangible technology transfers.