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 You are in: Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security > Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN) > Releases > Fact Sheets > 2004
Fact Sheet
Bureau of Nonproliferation
Washington, DC
October 22, 2004

Japanese Regional Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) Maritime Interdiction Exercise (Team Samurai '04)

The Purpose of the Exercise

  • Japan will host a PSI [Proliferation Security Initiative] maritime interdiction training exercise, Team Samurai, October 25-27, 2004. The purpose of the Japanese exercise is to enhance the level of training and interoperability among the agencies of participating countries in carrying out WMD-related maritime interdictions. This is the twelfth exercise in support of PSI since September 2003, and the first hosted by Japan. It highlights the importance of the Proliferation Security Initiative in the Asian-Pacific region.

PSI: A Global Initiative

  • The Proliferation Security Initiative is a global initiative with a global reach, and its interdiction training exercise scenarios are aimed at the global proliferation threat posed by state and non-state actors of proliferation concern.
  • While not aimed at any one country, Proliferation Security Initiative participants noted in statements at the Brisbane meeting in July 2003 that North Korea and Iran are countries of concern. Given that North Korea is one of the most aggressive proliferators of missiles and related technologies, and has threatened to export nuclear materials or dangerous weapons, we expect that Proliferation Security Initiative activities will affect North Korea’s proliferation activities at some point.

Broad Participation

  • Japan, the United States, Australia, and France will contribute operational assets to the exercise. Canada, Cambodia, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, and the UK will participate as observers.
  • For the United States, the U.S. Navy frigate USS Vandegrift and an eleven-person U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) ship-boarding team will participate in the Japanese exercise. The LEDET team will embark in and deploy from USS Vandegrift via the frigate’s Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB).

The Exercise Scenario

  • Japan receives intelligence of a suspected chemical weapons-related shipment on a Japanese flagged ship (Yokohama Autumn) scheduled to come to port in Japan and the shipment’s subsequent transfer to an American flagged ship (American Summer) sailing towards Japan. Both ships are on the high seas. The Japan Self Defense Forces and Coast Guard maritime patrol aircraft track the ships. The Japanese Coast Guard boards the Japanese flagged vessel, finds the illicit cargo, and directs the Japanese ship to port. Japanese authorities direct Australian, U.S., and French vessels to the U.S. flagged ship, which is subsequently boarded. Japanese authorities assist in identifying the transferred shipment, which is subsequently identified as illicit cargo and seized.

What is the Proliferation Security Initiative?

  • President Bush announced the Proliferation Security Initiative in Krakow, Poland May 31, 2003. Since then more than 60 countries have indicated support for Proliferation Security Initiative, which is an activity not an organization. The goal of the Proliferation Security Initiative is to create a more dynamic, creative, and proactive approach to preventing proliferation transfers to or from nation states and non-state actors of proliferation concern.
  • In September 2003, 11 countries agreed to and published the Proliferation Security Initiative Statement of Interdiction Principles. These identify specific steps for effectively interdicting weapons of mass destruction shipments and preventing proliferation facilitators from engaging in this deadly trade. Participation is voluntary.
  • The Proliferation Security Initiative is part of an overall counterproliferation effort intended to apply intelligence, diplomatic, law enforcement, and other tools at our disposal to prevent transfers of weapons of mass destruction-related items to countries and entities of concern. UN Security Council Resolution 1540, proposed by the President and adopted unanimously by the Council in April 2004, calls on all states to take cooperative action to prevent trafficking in weapons of mass destruction.

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