- Title: NORWAY: Japan signs cluster bomb treaty in Norway
- Date: 4th December 2008
- Summary: (WD) OSLO, NORWAY (DECEMBER 3, 2008) (REUTERS) OFFICIAL GREETING JAPANESE FOREIGN MINISTER HIROFUMI NAKASONE NAKASONE SIGNING TREATY NAKASONE GETS UP SHAKING HANDS WITH OFFICIAL JAPANESE DELEGATION BEING PHOTOGRAPHED
- Embargoed: 19th December 2008 12:00
- Location: Norway
- Country: Norway
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVABTNTB3M82PJBWN25SI106TJ56
- Story Text: Japan joins the worldwide ban on the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster bombs.
Japan became one of the latest signatories of the Convention on Cluster Munitions on Wednesday (December 3) in the Norwegian capital Oslo.
But the big military powers and arms-producers, the US, China, Russia and have refused to sign.
Among the first countries to sign the treaty were Laos and Lebanon, which have been most affected by the weapon.
Around 100 governments are expected to sign and the ceremony is likely to continue uon Thursday (December 4).
Cluster bombs can contain hundreds of mini-bombs or bomblets which blanket wide areas, which campaigners say make them indiscriminate killers.
Since not all the submunitions explode upon impact, duds on the ground pose lethal dangers to civilians for decades after they are used in combat.
The treaty, which was adopted by 107 countries in Dublin in May, will enter into force six months after 30 states have ratified it and deposited the instruments with the United Nations in New York.
The convention bans use, stockpiling and trading of the weapons. It also requires signatories to clear contaminated areas within 10 years and to destroy stockpiles within eight years of it entering into force for any state.
The campaign to ban cluster bombs began less than two years ago at an Oslo conference in February 2007. The drive to push it through patterned itself after the campaign that led to a 1997 treaty in Ottawa to ban landmines.
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