Japan plots a path around landmine ban

日期:2017-11-24 04:57:09 作者:茹瘪 阅读:

By Peter Hadfield in Tokyo JAPAN is planning to spend £4 million developing a new generation of landmines that can be detonated by remote control, to replace the conventional mines that will soon to be outlawed by the Ottawa Convention. The convention requires signatories to destroy all anti-personnel landmines within 10 years, but Japanese officials say devices that soldiers can detonate by remote control fall outside the scope of the agreement. “These new mines will be under human control,” says Tatsuhiko Fukui of Japan’s defence agency. “So they are acceptable under the Ottawa Convention.” With only a small army, Japan sees landmines as a crucial frontline defence against invasion. Because of this, Japan was a reluctant signatory to the Ottawa Convention last December. Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper says the new landmine will sense human footfalls or movement above it and send a coded radio signal to alert a soldier monitoring the mines. The soldier must then decide whether to detonate the landmine by remote control. The new mines’ destructive power would be similar to that of the conventional mines Japan possesses, which scatter 1200 projectiles over an area 100 metres in diameter. Unlike conventional mines, however, the new mines would be switched off after hostilities had ceased—but anti-landmine campaigners like Oxfam dispute their ability to do this with 100 per cent reliability. “The Ottawa Convention prohibits landmines but this is not a landmine,” says Fukui. “We are not even calling it a landmine.” In Japanese, the device is called a shikousei sandan, or projectile-scattering device. Says Oxfam spokesman Ian Bray: