On November 2, 2011, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry ("METI") of Japan posted public comment of export control regulation change on government web site.
The proposed change is to add Libya into restricted country list (UN arms embargo list) under conventional weapon catch-all rule, while removing Sierra Leone from this list
The tentative enforcement date is February 1st, 2012. This proposal is to follow United Nations Security Council Resolution ("UNSCR") 1970 which impose more strict export control of arms to Libya.
As for relax of control to Sierra Leona, it is to follow the UNSCR 1940 which clear the arms embargo to Sierra Leone.
What would be the impact to trader? This change does not affect to license management of WA dual-use controlled items, because this is under conventional weapon catch-all scheme. A trader who export industrial goods (nearly all goods except food or wooden product) to Libya need to conduct end-use screening to check whether the goods are used for development, manufacturing or use of conventional weapon items. (In other words, the end-use screening for conventional weapon to Libya have not been not required so far. Only WMD end-use check.) As for Sierra Leone, the obligation of the above mentioned end-use screening will not be required.
This is to impose more strict end-use control to export operation to Libya, while relaxing it to Sierra Leone. I don't think so many Japanese companies have big business with Sierra Leone, while Libya may be attractive emerging market especially for energy industry.