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Status Brief

Developmental Milestones/Developments to Date:

Current Assessment/State of the Field:




Pearson, Graham, S., “The Complimentary Role of Environmental and Security Biological Control Regimes in the 21st Century,” JAMA, Aug. 6, 1997, Vol. 278, No. 5.

  1. “Biological weapons are sometimes referred to as the poor man’s atomic bomb.”
  2. Aum Shinrikyo, BWC 4th Review Conference.

BWC, Japan


Henderson, D., A., “Bioterrorism as a Public Health Threat,” Emerging Infectious Diseases, vol. 4, No. 3, July-Sept 1998.
*Admonition & historical accounts.

Russia, Japan, Ebola, Marburg, Hemorrhagic Fever, Smallpox, Germany, Yugoslavia, Vaccination, Iraq


Brennan, Richard et al.Chemical Warfare Agents: Emergency Medical and Emergency Public Health Issues.” Annals of Emergency Medicine Volume 34 Issue 2. 191. August 1999

  1. ”Although it is prudent not to overstate the risk posed by chemical warfare agents (CWA), the proliferation of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons (weapons of mass destruction [WMD]) was recently recognized by the US Congress as the most serious threat to national security.” – page 191
  2. Risks to civilian populations include terrorism, military stockpiles, military use, and industrial accidents involving chemicals used as CWAs.
  3. ”To ensure that American cities and communities are appropriately prepared for a terrorist attack with a chemical, biological, or nuclear weapon, Congress passed The Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 1996 (WMD Act).” – page 192
  4. ”CWAs are broadly classified as nerve agents, vesicants, pulmonary agents, and cyanides (formerly bloody agents).” – page 194
  5. ”Their clinical effects, and their comparative advantages as weapons, vary according to their physiochemical characteristics, toxicity, and primary site of action.” – page 194
  6. ”Relevant issues in disaster preparedness for an incident involving a CWA include education and training of emergency personnel, disaster planning, public education, deployment of specialized teams, and stockpiling of appropriate antidotes.” – page 195
  7. ”The federal response to terrorism consists of 2 components: crisis management and consequence management. The lead federal agency for crisis management is the FBI and the lead federal agency for consequence management is FEMA.” – page 198
  8. ”Recent trends in terrorism, the production and transport of industrial chemicals, and the aging of the military stockpile have increased the risk that civilians may be exposed to CWAs.” – page 202
  9. Principles of emergency response and medical treatment include levels of response, command and control, personal protective equipment, assessment, demarcation of the contaminated area, agent detection and identification, triage, decontamination, preparedness of the emergency department, protecting the public, medical treatment and antidotes, poison control centers, and surveillance.

Chemical, WMD, Public Health, Military, Japan, Sarin, CWC, Chemical Surveillance


Benjamin, Georges C.Chemical and Biological Terrorism: Planning for the WorstPhysician Executive Volume 26 Issue 1. 80. January/February 2000.

  1. ”Chemical or biological terrorism is the use of pathogenic microbes or toxins derived from plants, animals, microbes, or chemical agents to achieve terror.” – page 80
  2. ”Chemical and biological weapons, like nuclear weapons, are categorized as weapons of mass destruction (WMD) because of the high number of potential victims that can result from their use.” – page 80
  3. ”While any chemical can be weaponized, the chemical agents traditionally of concern fall into four categories: nerve agents like sarin, which create an anticholinergic-like syndrome; vesicants like mustard gas, that cause a blistering or burn-like syndrome; cyanide, which interrupts aerobic metabolism; and riot control agents such as mace, which generally cause incapacitation.” – page 80
  4. ”Biological agents act like chemical agents but have a slower onset of action. Agents of concern include Ricin.” – page 81
  5. ”The ideal bioweapon is hard to detect from the usual microbial flora, has person-to-person spread, and is easy to aerosolize. There are two groups of organisms of public health concern: those that cause a high morbidity or a high mortality.” – page 81
  6. ”Examples of high morbidity organisms include salmonella, cholera, or E. coli. The number of highly toxic organisms is fortunately quite low and includes anthrax, smallpox, and the viruses that cause hemorrhagic fevers, plague, brucellosis, and tularemia.” – page 81
  7. ”Clues that biological terrorist events have occurred include an unexplained increase in respiratory cases or deaths, or dead and dying animals. Epidemiological clues include diseases with the wrong mode of transmission, which occur in an inappropriate geographic distribution or infect a new or novel population.” – page 81
  8. ”Components of a biological/chemical terrorism disaster plan: plan how to identify the threat; develop an effective public health disease surveillance system; link the public health system and the traditional medical care delivery system; develop command and control systems; determine hospital bed availability; define disease containment, isolation, and quarantine procedures; plan how to obtain extra life support equipment such as respirators; plan how to train clinical staff to identify high-risk unusual diseases; ensure non-clinical staff are trained on the management of suspicious packages and mail; identify experts; plan simple handling and transport; plan how to communicate high risk information; manage medical examiner cases; and maintain a crime scene.” – page 81
  9. ”Effective disease control strategies such as case finding, decontamination, prophylaxis and vaccination, and quarantine must be defined.” – page 82

Chemical, WMD, Bioterrorism, Public Health, Military, Sarin, Japan, Ricin, E. coli, Cholera, Salmonella, Anthrax, Smallpox, Hemorrhagic Fever, Plague, Brucellosis, Tularemia, Prophylaxis, Vaccination, Quarantine


Seto, Yasuo. “The Sarin Gas Attack in Japan and the Related Forensic Investigation.” Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. 14. June 2001 https://www.opcw.org/news/article/the-sarin-gas-attack-in-japan-and-the-related-forensic-investigation/

  1. ”Lethal nerve gas attacks in the city of Matsumoto in 1994, and in the Tokyo subway system in 1995, led to the deaths of 19 people, as well as to a large number of injuries.” – page 14
  2. ”Aum Shinrikyo was established by Shoko Asahara, and it disseminated a unique doctrine that taught that one could kill another human being who continues to commit evil deeds, and is thus destined to go to hell. After failing to win support in the 1989 general election, the cult transformed itself into a terrorist group that produced arms in toxic gases.” – page 14
  3. ”While expanding its influence in Japan, Aum also set up branch offices overseas in the United States, Germany, and Sri Lanka.” – page 14
  4. ”Two days after the Sarin incident in Tokyo, a simultaneous raid of Aum facilities was launched by 2,500 police in connection with the imprisonment of a notary public manager who had died while being detained.” – page 15
  5. ”Using established forensic toxicological techniques, it was found that during the Matsumoto incident, Sarin gas was sprayed to murder the local court judges, but nearby residents also became exposed to the toxins.” – page 16
  6. ”In the Tokyo subway Sarin incident, the cult decided to use Sarin in trains on three subway station lines, all of which stop at Kasumigaseki station near the Matsumoto Police Department. The perpetrators boarded the subway trains with plastic bags containing Sarin, and released the gas by prodding the bags open with the metal tips of umbrellas.” – pages 16, 17

Chemical, Bioterrorism, Sarin, Japan, Law Enforcement, Organizations/Groups, WMD


Davis, Jim. “The Looming Biological Warfare StormAir & Space Power Journal, Volume 17, Issue 1. 57. Spring 2003.

  1. ”Until very recently, the lack of focus on this subject (biological warfare) has resulted in a lack of appropriate funding and accountability.” – page 58
  2. ”Unless we focus appropriate dollars and develop a coherent national plant to prepare for and prevent such actions, the United States will likely suffer an enormous economic loss that could even lead to our demise as a superpower.” – page 58
  3. ”A belief in one or more of at least six false assumptions or myths helps explain why individuals, including senior civilian and military leaders, do not believe that a mass-casualty biological warfare (BW) attack will occur.” – page 58
  4. ”Myth one: there never really has been a significant BW attack” – page 58
  5. ”Even before the fall 2001 anthrax terrorism in the United States, incidents of BW and bioterrorism have occurred on multiple occasions.” – page 58
  6. ”Today, more countries have active biological warfare programs than at any other time in history, which increases the likelihood that BW will be used again in the future.” – page 58
  7. ”Myth two: The United States has never been attacked by a BW agent” – page 59
  8. ”Myth three” you have to be extremely intelligent, highly educated, and well-funded to grow, weaponized, and deploy a BW agent” – page 59
  9. ”Dr. Tara O’Toole, deputy director for the Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies at Johns Hopkins University, believes we have probably crossed over the threshold from ‘too difficult’ to accomplish to ‘doable by a determined individual or group’” – page 59
  10. ”Much of the technical information is readily available on the internet, in libraries, and through mail order channels that provide ‘how-to’ manuals.” – page 59
  11. ”Myth four: biological warfare must be too difficult because it has failed when it has been tried” – page 59
  12. ”Myth five: there are moral restraints that have kept and will keep BW agents from being used” – page 60
  13. ”Morality can be marshaled as a reason both to limit BW use and to advocate mass killings – depending on the decision maker’s values and perspectives” – page 60
  14. ”Myth six: the long incubation period required for BW agents before onset of symptoms makes BW useless to users” – page 60
  15. ”There have already been multiple BW attacks, and to a savvy weaponeer, the incubation period can be used as an advantage rather than a disadvantage.” – page 60
  16. ”There are two primary motivations that might drive an adversary to attack the United States with a BW agent. The first motivation is to gradually ‘erode US influence’ as a world superpower. The second is categorized as ‘revenge or hate’” – page 61
  17. ”The author believes that there are three most likely BW scenarios the United States and its allies might face in the future: an agroterrorist event against the United States, a BW attack on United States and allied troops in the Middle East, and/or a bioterrorist attack against a large population center in the United States or an allied state.” – page 61
  18. ”Such myths continue to inhibit the adequate funding of US and allied biodefense” – page 66

Military, Anthrax, Plague, Smallpox, Tularemia, Sarin, Japan, Iraq, Iran, Nonproliferation, WMD


Kyodo News ServiceJapan revamps policy to tackle H1N1 flu, removes onboard health checks,” BBC Worldwide Monitoring, May 22, 2009.

  1. “The Japanese government adopted a new policy on battling new strains of influenza in the face of the domestic outbreak of an apparently milder form of the infection.”
  2. “The new policy, intended to allow for more flexible responses to minimize the impact on people’s daily lives and business activity, regroups affected areas into two – one with a limited number of confirmed infections and the other where infections are spreading rapidly.”

Flu, Japan


Sasaki, Asami, et al., “Evidence-based Tool for Triggering School Closures during Influenza Outbreaks, Japan,” Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol. 15, No. 11, November 2009.

  1. ”Using empirical data on absentee rates of elementary school students in Japan, we developed a simple and practical algorithm for determining the optimal timing of school closures for control of influenza outbreaks.”
  2. ”Influenza pandemic preparedness and seasonal influenza control programs have focused on vaccine development and antiviral drugs, which are only partially effective and not always available to all persons at risk (1–3). Nonpharmaceutical interventions, such as social distancing, represent additional key tools for mitigating the impact of outbreaks.”
  3. ”Because children are a major factor in the transmission of influenza within communities and among households, school closure may be a valuable social distancing method (4,5).”
  4. ”We evaluated the optimal influenza-related absentee rate for predicting outbreaks of influenza.”
  5. ”Our analysis suggests that a single-day at a threshold influenza-related absentee rate of 5%, double-days >4%, or triple-days >3% are optimal levels for alerting school administrators to consider school closure. The double- and triple-day scenarios performed similarly, and gave better results than the singleday. Thus, the double-day scenario might be the preferred early warning trigger.”
  6. ”We used the Youden index for calculating optimal thresholds (7). The Youden index = (sensitivity) + (specificity) – 1. A perfect test result would have a Youden index of 1. For the single-day scenario, the optimal threshold was 5%, with a sensitivity of 0.77 and specificity of 0.73.”

Flu, Public Health, Prophylaxis, Biosurveillance, Japan


Lieggi, Stephanie; Shaw, Robert; and Toki, Masako. “Taking Control: Stopping North Korean WMD-Related ProcurementBulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Volume 66, issue 5. Pages 21-34. September 2010

  1. “Last year, when two Japan-based traders were convicted for attempting to illegally transport sensitive materials, a larger story unraveled – one that illuminated North Korea’s efforts to obtain technology related to weapons of mass destruction (WMD).” – page 21
  2. “Historically, the country acquired much of its WMD-related technology and training from abroad, particularly China and the Soviet Union. Today, North Korea’s procurement network employ a sophisticated mix of front companies, brokers, and transshipment strategies.” –page 21
  3. “Since the early 1950’s, North Korea has both legally and illegally sought to acquire advanced technology and commodities from Japanese entities to improve its military capability.” – page 22
  4. “Pyongyang’s (capitol of North Korea) missile business has developed into an important source of revenue – ranging from #300 million to $1.5 billion annually, according to some estimates – and North Korea has traded missile technology with many countries, including Pakistan, Iran, Syria, and Yemen.” – page 23
  5. “The export violations incidents in Japan involving Toko Boeki and Tadao Morita occurred after the U.N. Security Council passed resolutions in July and October 2006 sanctioning North Korea, and after Tokyo consequently expanded its list of items under embargo to Pyongyang.’ – page 23
  6. “…Japans ‘catch-all’ controls, which mandate a license requirement for certain destination countries if an export is likely to support development of WMD, even if the item is not specifically mentioned on domestic controls list” – page 23
  7. “In early 2009, police in Kanagawa, a suburb of Tokyo, raided the offices of trading company Toko Boeki after the firm attempted to export a magnetometer (a device used to measure magnetic fields) to Myanmar in September 2008 and again in January 2009.” – page 23
  8. “Japanese authorities determined a magnetometer to be a useful tool in the development of magnets critical to the operation of some missile guidance systems, and police suspected a link to North Korea’s missile development programs” – page 23
  9. “The investigation led to the June 2009 arrest – and eventual indictment – of Toko Boeki’s founder and president, Li Gyeong Ho, for his attempts to dodge Japan’s catch-all controls.” – page 23
  10. “Li pleaded guilty and received a prison sentence of two years, matching the request of the prosecutors. However, the sentence was suspended for four years, highlighting Japan’s problem with lenient sentences for proliferation-related offenses. Additionally, Li’s company, Toko Boeki, was fined about $68,000 (6 million yen)” page 25
  11. “In addition to the criminal penalties, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) imposed a complete seven month export ban on both Li and his company.” – page 25
  12. “In May 2009, police in Hyogo, a suburb outside Kyoto, arrested Chong Rin Chae (Tadao Morita), a South Korean resident, for attempting to illegally export two tanker trucks from Japan to North Korea via South Korea.” – page 25
  13. “In July 2009, Morita pleaded guilty to export control violations involving the tanker trucks and the luxury goods and was sentenced to a suspended three-year prison term. His company was also assessed a fine of approximately $55,000 (5 million yen).”- page 26
  14. “In January 2010, six months after Morita’s criminal conviction, METI also imposed a 16-month export ban on Morita and his company” – page 27
  15. “Since METI’s 2002 implementation of catch-all controls, the Japanese government has strengthened legal and administrative provisions specific to curbing the spread of WMD – a process accelerated by North Korea’s recent nuclear and missile tests.” – page 27
  16. “Last year, Japan amended its Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade law, which increased the maximum penalty for export control violations from five to seven years. If a violation involves WMD-related items, however, then the maximum penalty is 10 years” – page 27
  17. “The use of front companies and transshipment destinations reveals a network continuously evolving in response to U.N. sanctions and increased nonproliferation-focused export controls of supplier countries like Japan” – page 30

Export Control, Japan, North Korea, WMD, Military, Nonproliferation, UN


Schneidmiller, Chris, “Pakistan Sought U.S. Assistance Against Biothreats, Cable ShowsGlobal Security Newswire, Feb. 8, 2011. http://gsn.nti.org/gsn/nw_20110208_6630.php

  1. “Pakistan in 2008 discussed with U.S. officials the prospect of establishing a system to ensure militants could not obtain jobs in the South Asian nation’s burgeoning disease research sector that might give them access to potential bioterror agents, according to a diplomatic dispatch made public last week (see GSN, June 30, 2010).”
  2. “The U.S. State Department’s Biosecurity Engagement Program since 2007 has supported efforts by the Pakistani government to ensure “safe, secure and sustainable” public health operations, the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad said in a leaked document.”
  3. “A number of Pakistani officials by early the next year were seeking closer ties with the diplomatic office and assistance with construction of Biosafety Level 3 laboratories, which work with disease agents that can cause serious illness or death.”
  4. “‘The executive director of Pakistan’s National Institute of Health also expressed interest in a personnel reliability program to screen for “extremists” or other groups looking to gain access to pathogen collections,’ according to the embassy dispatch posted on the website of the London Telegraph.”
  5. “The document also indicates that U.S. officials noted security concerns and subsequent improvements during three visits to the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council facility in the capital city. ‘PARC houses a full range of viral and bacterial pathogens, including dangerous agents such as anthrax, FMD (foot and mouth disease), brucellosis and highly pathogenic avian influenza,’ the embassy said.”
  6. “‘Virtually no biosecurity measures were observed during March and June 2007 visits to PARC, but by early February 2008, dedicated safety officers and improved security practices were in place,’ it added.”
  7. “Potential threats posed by radicals operating within the Pakistani establishment were highlighted by the assassination last month of Punjab state Governor Salman Taseer by one of his bodyguards (see GSN, Jan. 11).”
  8. “‘The Department of State and Pakistan are currently cooperating on a wide range of projects in the area of the biological sciences, including projects to improve disease diagnostics and disease surveillance in the public health sector,’ according to the statement. ‘U.S. and Pakistan strategic dialogue embodies a commitment to a strong and productive bilateral relationship and partnership for long-term results based on shared democratic values, mutual respect, trust and interests.’”

Pakistan, Japan, BSL, State Department, Personnel Reliability


Tabuchi, Hiroko, “U.S. Expresses Concern About New Cyberattacks in Japan” 22, September 2011, nytimes http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/22/world/asia/us-expresses-concern-over-cyberattacks-in-japan.html?_r=1&scp=3&sq=cyber%20security&st=cse

  1. “The United States gave a stern warning on Wednesday over recent cyberattacks on Japan’s biggest defense contractors, the latest in a series of security breaches that have fueled concern about Tokyo’s ability to handle delicate information.”
  2. “An online assault on defense contractors including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which builds F-15 fighter jets and other American-designed weapons for Japan’s Self-Defense Forces,…”
  3. “The breach came less than two weeks after a Japanese air traffic controller was questioned for posting secret American flight information on his blog.”
  4. “The breaches threaten to undermine any progress made by Japan, an important American ally, in bolstering cybersecurity in recent years.”
  5. “The Japanese government had promised to revamp its security procedures after a Japanese Navy officer was arrested in 2007 over the leak of classified data on the United States Navy’s advanced Aegis combat radar system,…”
  6. “For every country, these kinds of intrusions have the potential for long-term negative impact and must be taken seriously,…”
  7. “This is why cybersecurity must be a public sector priority in close collaboration with the private sector.”
  8. “Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said Monday that its computer systems had been hacked and that some network information may have been compromised.”
  9. “According to the company, 83 computers and servers at 11 locations, including its Tokyo headquarters, factories, and a research and development center were accessed in the attack.”
  10. “But an investigation by a security company has revealed that connections were made to 14 overseas sites, including at least 20 servers in China, Hong Kong, the United States and India,…”
  11. “It has previously experienced breaches in security, including the loss of data on nuclear reactor tests in 2006 and on its fighter jets in 2003.”
  12. “This year, Lockheed Martin was the victim of a sophisticated hacking attack.”

Cybersecurity, Japan, China, BioHacker




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