On 26 May 2015, three businessmen in Japan who are suspected of supplying export-controlled carbon fiber to China without a licence were arrested.
It is suspected that the three exported 3,500 kg of carbon fiber to China via Busan on January 2010 without obtaining the required authorisation by falsely claiming that it would be used by a South Korean firm.
While carbon fiber has a wide range of civil applications, it can also be used in the manufacture of uranium-enriching centrifuges rotors, large weapons and aircrafts. Due to the possible military use, carbon fiber is controlled by multiple export control regimes. The United Nations Security Council Sanctions Committees also prevent its supply to Iran and North Korea.
The arrests are the first over illegal exports of carbon fiber in Japan and highlight the need for continued alertness by suppliers and manufacturers to remain compliant with national and international trade laws.