Arms transfers cover the supply of military weapons through sales, aid, gifts, and those made through manufacturing licenses. Data cover major conventional weapons such as aircraft, armored vehicles, artillery, radar systems, missiles, and ships designed for military use. Excluded are transfers of other military equipment such as small arms and light weapons, trucks, small artillery, ammunition, support equipment, technology transfers, and other services.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva, Switzerland, 1997. Data collected from the nations concerned, unless otherwise indicated. Acronyms: Amnesty International (AI); European Council of Conscripts Organizations (ECCO); Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC); International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHFHR); National Interreligious Service Board for Conscientious Objectors (NISBCO); Service, Peace and Justice in Latin America (SERPAJ); War Resisters International (WRI); World Council of Churches (WCC)
Military expenditures data from SIPRI are derived from the NATO definition, which includes all current and capital expenditures on the armed forces, including peacekeeping forces; defense ministries and other government agencies engaged in defense projects; paramilitary forces, if these are judged to be trained and equipped for military operations; and military space activities. Such expenditures include military and civil personnel, including retirement pensions of military personnel and social services for personnel; operation and maintenance; procurement; military research and development; and military aid (in the military expenditures of the donor country). Excluded are civil defense and current expenditures for previous military activities, such as for veterans' benefits, demobilization, conversion, and destruction of weapons. This definition cannot be applied for all countries, however, since that would require much more detailed information than is available about what is included in military budgets and off-budget military expenditure items. (For example, military budgets might or might not cover civil defense, reserves and auxiliary forces, police and paramilitary forces, dual-purpose forces such as military and civilian police, military grants in kind, pensions for military personnel, and social security contributions paid by one part of government to another.)
Armed forces personnel are active duty military personnel, including paramilitary forces if the training, organization, equipment, and control suggest they may be used to support or replace regular military forces.
Armed forces personnel are active duty military personnel, including paramilitary forces if the training, organization, equipment, and control suggest they may be used to support or replace regular military forces. Labor force comprises all people who meet the International Labour Organization's definition of the economically active population.
Japan had an active biological weapons (BW) program prior to 1945. The focal point was the now infamous Unit 731 based at a laboratory complex in northeastern China during the Japanese occupation. Unit 731 experimented on Chinese civilians and Allied prisoners of war with various biological agents, including plague, cholera, and hemorrhagic fever. After World War II, the Japanese government abandoned its BW program. Japan signed the BWC in 1972 and ratified it in 1982. Japan has actively supported negotiation of a protocol to strengthen current BWC provisions. Since the 1995 Aum Shinrikyo's sarin attack and failed attempt to disperse anthrax, Japan has increased its focus on bio-terrorism defenses. Although Japan has a growing biotechnology industry, it is still small in comparison to its chemical industry. As a member of the Australia Group, Japan's biotech industry is subject to a comprehensive set of export controls.
There is very limited open-source information regarding Syria's biological warfare (BW) capability. German and Israeli sources have asserted that Syria possesses Bacillus anthracis (which causes anthrax), botulinum toxin, and ricin. Other independent assessments, however, maintain there is no evidence that the country has progressed past the research and development phase of a BW capability. Syria has a pharmaceutical infrastructure that could support a limited BW program, and it engages in extensive trade of dual-use equipment and goods with companies in Western Europe, Russia, and North Korea. Damascus ratified the Geneva Protocol in 1968 and signed the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) on April 14, 1972, but has yet to ratify it.
A description of the nation's situation with regards to the possession and manufacture of biological weapons of mass destruction
Japanese scientists began developing chemical weapons (CW) as early as 1917. The Japanese Army used CW after invading China in 1937, conducting an estimated 1,000 to 3,000 attacks. Japan reportedly produced five to seven million munitions containing agents such as phosgene, mustard, lewisite, hydrogen cyanide, and diphenyl cyanarsine. Although Japanese forces used many of these munitions between 1937 and 1945, a considerable amount was abandoned when Japanese forces retreated. After World War II, Japan pledged to not produce CW and participated in the negotiations for the CWC, which Japan signed in 1993 and ratified in 1995. Japan's CWC obligations include the responsibility for the disposal of abandoned CW (ACW) in China. The deadline for completion of the clean-up is 2007, but the scale of the program has led many to estimate that Japan will need an extension. Japan's chemical industry is the world's second largest, with about 16 percent of global chemical production. As a member of the Australia Group, Japan has developed comprehensive and well-enforced export controls on chemical weapons precursors and dual-use items. Since the 1995 Aum Shinrikyo sarin attack, Japanese spending on CW defense has increased.
Syria is suspected of having one of the most advanced chemical warfare (CW) capabilities in the Middle East and among developing countries worldwide. Syria allegedly received initial chemical warfare assistance and supplies, including weaponized chemical agents, from Egypt prior to the October War against Israel in 1973. Analysts claim that the country now has an indigenous capability to produce and weaponize nerve (e.g., sarin) and blister (e.g., mustard) agents. There are numerous highly inconsistent reports that Syria has successfully produced and weaponized VX nerve agent. There are some allegations that Syria received Russian assistance in developing this agent in the 1990s but these reports remain substantially unconfirmed in the open sources. Syria appears to remain dependent on the acquisition of imported dual-use technology, equipment and precursors. In the past Syria has acquired many of these items from various European countries and India. Despite the widespread belief that Syria has an active chemical weapons program it is still able to obtain access to many dual-use chemicals used by its oil and chemical industries. As export controls have tightened Syria has increasingly turned to imports from countries outside international export control regimes such as Egypt and North Korea for the provision of certain precursor chemicals. Syria is still able to meet many of its more general bulk chemical needs from its traditional European and Indian suppliers. Syria possesses Scud-B and Scud-C ballistic missiles capable of being fitted with chemical warheads, and in 1999 it allegedly tested a Scud-B carrying a warhead designed to disperse VX. The quality of Syrian weaponization efforts is not clear from open-sources and it remains unclear how effective the use of Scud missiles would be against Israeli defenses. In addition to this long range capability Syria is believed to possess a significant tactical chemical weapons capability centered around artillery shells and rockets. Open sources assert that there are at least three Syrian facilities currently engaged in producing CW, located near Damascus, Hama, and Safira village (in the Aleppo area). Beginning in early 2003 officials in the united States and Israel began to suggest that Syria had received shipments of chemical weapons and other WMD from Iraq. These allegations increased in frequency as the absence of WMD in Iraq became more apparent. To date the available information suggests that these allegations are at best speculative and at worst malicious. Given the claims that Syria has the most advanced CW capability in the middle-east it is difficult to find a convincing rationale for Syria receiving illicit Iraqi WMD stocks. Since late 2002 Syria has been confronted by an aggressive United States using WMD possession as a justification for pre-emptive military action. Since April 2003 Syria has been effectively surrounded by the United States and its allies and has come under increasing political and military pressures. Damascus ratified the Geneva Protocol in 1968, but so far has declined to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). In 2004 Syrian officials met with the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). In the absence of information on the content of the discussions the significance of this development remains unclear.
A description of the nation's situation with regards to the possession and manufacture of chemical weapons of mass destruction
Japan does not have a ballistic missile development program, but its space program includes a number of technologies that could potentially be adapted to long-range missiles. The solid-fueled M-5 rocket system, first launched in 1995, includes technologies that could be adapted to develop intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capabilities roughly similar to those of the U.S. MX Peacekeeper missile. Japan's two-stage H-2 rocket is capable of placing a two-ton payload into orbit, but the H-2 is not optimal for ballistic missile applications due to its reliance on cryogenic liquid hydrogen and oxygen fuel. Japan lacks sophisticated command and control systems, as well as some guidance and warhead technology that would be necessary to develop operational missiles. Japan has partnered with the United States to research ballistic missile defenses (BMD), but has yet to make a final decision on future development and deployment. Many in Japan argue that a missile defense system would compliment the U.S. nuclear deterrent and defend against possible belligerents such as North Korea. Others argue that the system's costs outweigh the benefits, especially since the system's effectiveness is unproven. Missile defense also raises potential legal issues regarding Japanese legislation barring the military use of space. Japan is an active member of the MTCR and was involved in drafting the International Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (ICOC).
Syria's missile program began in the early 1970s as a means to counter Israel’s superior conventional military capabilities; since that time, the missile program has grown in tandem with the development of chemical weapons (CW). Syria now has one of the largest arsenals of ballistic missiles in the region, made up of hundreds of Scud-derived missile systems. In the 1970s and 1980s, Syria relied on Soviet technology and support for its missile program and imported the Soviet FROG-7, Scud-Bs, and the solid-fueled Scarab SS-21 missiles. In the 1990s, Syria looked to other states to supply it with missile technology and found willing partners in Iran and North Korea. Iran provided Syria with technical assistance for solid-fueled rocket motor production, while North Korea supplied it with equipment and technical assistance for liquid-fueled missile production. Syria, however, has had difficulty creating an indigenous production capability and has had to rely on continued imports from countries such as North Korea and China. Syria reportedly purchased 150 Scud-C missiles from North Korea in 1991. In September 2000, Syria tested a North Korean, 700 km-range Scud-D, revealing its commitment to expanding its missile capability. Syria is not a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
A description of the nation's situation with regards to the possession and manufacture of missile weapons of mass destruction
Japan's "Atomic Energy Basic Law" allows only peaceful nuclear activities, and its "Three Non-Nuclear Principles" pledge that Japan will not possess, produce, or permit the introduction of nuclear weapons into the country. Despite Japan's long-standing stance against nuclear weapons, there was an internal debate in the early 1970s about whether Japan should sign the NPT, in part due to concerns about assuring access to nuclear technology to meet national energy needs, and the discriminatory nature of the treaty. Some conservatives were also concerned that closing off the nuclear option might negatively impact future national security needs. Japan has played an active role in nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament, and has proposed a process for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Japan ratified the CTBT in 1997 and has been a strong supporter of a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT). However, Japan's security relationship with the United States has tempered Tokyo's emphasis on disarmament. For example, Japan remains quiet about the possible presence of nuclear warheads on U.S. ships and military bases in Japan. Japan increasingly relies on nuclear power for its electricity needs, and has a highly developed civilian nuclear sector. Japan has a controversial program for recycling spent nuclear fuel that has produced large quantities of plutonium in the form of metal-oxide nuclear fuel. At the end of 2001, Japan had more than 30 metric tons of spent fuel stored at reprocessing plants in Britain and France, along with a domestic stockpile of 5 to 6 tons. These nuclear fuel stockpiles will ultimately return to Japan for use in domestic nuclear facilities. The original plan called for consumption of the stored fuel by 2010, but due to technical and safety issues, this timetable has been delayed and return of the stored fuel to Japan is proceeding slowly. Some argue this material could provide Japan with a latent nuclear weapons capability. In addition, the new facility under constructing in Rokkasho (Aomori Prefecture) will increase Japanese domestic reprocessing capacity and potentially produce an additional 5 tons of metal-oxide nuclear fuel per year. Although anti-nuclear sentiment among the Japanese public has far outweighed support for keeping a nuclear option open, several neighboring countries have expressed concerns about possible Japanese nuclear ambitions. Partly in response to these fears, the Japanese government completed an internal study in 1995 that reaffirmed previous conclusions that developing nuclear weapons would damage both Japan’s national security and regional security. However recent tension developing in the region, particularly in the Korean peninsula, has led to increased discussions in Japan about the once taboo subject of nuclear weapons development. Despite recent speculation that Japan may reconsider its nuclear options, the deep aversion to nuclear weapons among the Japanese public will likely make any move in this direction difficult.
Although the Israeli and U.S. governments have expressed concerns about Syrian nuclear weapons aspirations, there is little convincing evidence of such an objective. Syria signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in 1968 and ratified the document one year later; its 30 KW nuclear research reactor in Dayr al Jajar, provided by China, is under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. In 1998, the Syrian Atomic Energy Commission began discussions with Russia about expanding its nuclear infrastructure, as prior negotiations with Argentina and China had proved unsuccessful. In May 1999, Moscow and Damascus signed an agreement in which the former will provide at least one light water nuclear reactor, which will be subject to IAEA safeguards. At this time, Syria has neither the infrastructure nor the financial resources to pursue an indigenous nuclear weapons program. Following revelations regarding the nuclear technology proliferation network of Pakistan's A.Q. Khan in 2003, some have evinced concern that Syria may have been a client. In a September 2004 interview, IAEA Secretary General ElBaradei stated that there are "no indications" of such a relationship.
A description of the nation's situation with regards to the possession and manufacture of nuclear weapons
Japan's 1947 constitution, which renounces the right to use force or the threat of force as a means of settling international disputes, sets important limits on Japanese security policy. Japan does not have any weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs, although it has the technical capability to produce basic nuclear weapons and missiles in a relatively short time. The Japanese government is highly active in the international nonproliferation and disarmament arena, and party to all relevant multilateral treaties and regimes. As the only country to have suffered a nuclear weapons attack, Japan has been especially active in the field of nuclear nonproliferation and arms control. Japan ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1976 and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1997. Before 1945, Japan developed and employed both chemical and biological weapons. Japan is now a state party to both the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC). Japan is also a member of the Australia Group, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), and the Zangger Committee. Japan has an active nuclear energy program, one of the world's leading chemical industries, a growing biotechnology sector, and an active commercial space program.
While constrained by limited resources, Syria has shown interest in and taken steps to develop and acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery systems, especially chemical weapons and ballistic missiles. Damascus has allegedly received direct assistance from Russia (and formerly the Soviet Union), Iran, and North Korea in developing its programs. Syria's motivation to acquire WMD, and ballistic missiles in particular, appears to be a response to Israel's superior conventional military capabilities. There are strong indications that Syria is pursuing nuclear weapons.
An overview of the nation's situation with regards to the possession and manufacture of weapons of mass destruction