2004 Statement

 
 

H.E. Dr. Kuniko Inoguchi

Permanent Representative of Japan

At the First Committee of the 58th Session of the General Assembly

7 October 2003

Mr. Chairman,
Distinguished delegates,

At the outset, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to you, Mr. Chairman, on your assumption of the chairmanship of this Committee. I am confident that, with the benefit of your diplomatic experience and skill, our deliberations will be most fruitful. You may be assured of my delegation's full support and cooperation as you lead the work of the Committee. I would also like to express my appreciation to Under-Secretary-General Nobuyasu Abe for his speech yesterday.

(Terrorism and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction)

Mr. Chairman,

Japan considers the maintenance and reinforcement of the disarmament and non-proliferation regime as one of the major pillars of diplomatic efforts to ensure the stability of the international environment. Today, we have witnessed some serious problems that could aggravate the international security environment, such as the problem of the development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and suspicions thereof, and the increasing threat of international terrorism. It is therefore as imperative as ever to further strengthen international efforts for disarmament and non-proliferation in order to promote the peace and security of the world.

Especially after the terrorist attacks of September 11, the magnitude of devastation terrorism can cause has been well recognized. Terrorism is a heinous means to obstruct various peace and stabilization efforts. This is evident especially in the recent tragedy whereby Mr. Sergio Vieira de Mello, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, and other UN staff sacrificed their lives in the bomb attack in Baghdad. In order to ensure the peace and security of the world against such "new threats," the fight against terrorism must continue and various diplomatic efforts in promoting disarmament and non-proliferation must be strengthened.

(Japan's Efforts)

Mr. Chairman,

With regard to the proliferation of WMD, Japan is deeply concerned about North Korea's declaration of its intention to withdraw from the NPT. From the perspective of peace and security in Northeast Asia and international non-proliferation, any development, acquisition or possession, test, and transfer of nuclear weapons by North Korea must never be tolerated. Japan once again urges North Korea to immediately and completely dismantle all of its nuclear development programs in a verifiable and irreversible manner. This issue should be resolved peacefully by diplomatic efforts, including the Six Party Talks process. Japan calls upon North Korea to take a responsible attitude based on the Pyongyang Declaration, signed by the Japanese Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi and Chairman Kim Jong-Il, in which both sides confirmed that, for an overall resolution of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, they would comply with all related international agreements.

Japan calls upon Iran to take seriously the resolution adopted at the September 12 meeting of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to comply immediately with all measures prescribed in the resolution, which include cooperating fully with the IAEA to rectify problem points by the end of this month, concluding the IAEA Additional Protocol immediately and unconditionally, and implementing it in its entirety, and to eliminate concerns of the international community regarding the nuclear issue. Japan will continue to appeal to Iran to this end.

Given the growing "threat awareness" of WMD falling into the hands of terrorists, international cooperation to respond to such threats is necessary. Japan calls upon all states to take necessary measures in this regard. Japan has been actively engaged in the negotiation of the amendment of the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM), with a view to protecting, in a more assured way, WMD-usable nuclear material from theft, robbery or any other unlawful taking. Japan also organized the Seminar on Consequence and Crisis Management of Chemical and Biological Terrorism for countries in the Asia Pacific Region last month in Tokyo, with the aim of enhancing their capability to respond to terrorism.

Japan considers the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) as being consistent with Japan's effort to hinder the spread of WMD and their delivery systems, and Japan dispatched the Japan Coast Guard patrol vessel to take part in a maritime interdiction exercise near Australia's northeast coast in mid-September. Japan hopes that the Statement of Interdiction Principles, adopted in the Paris Meeting, will receive wide support from all countries which share similar non-proliferation concerns and objectives. Japan will call upon countries, particularly those in Asia, to participate in, and cooperate with, the PSI to work towards effectively preventing the proliferation of WMD, with a view to strengthening coordination and cooperation within the international community.

(Nuclear)

Mr. Chairman,

Japan, being the only country to have ever experienced nuclear devastation, firmly maintains the so-called "Three Non-Nuclear Principles"-the policy of not possessing, not producing and not permitting the introduction of nuclear weapons into its territory. Successive Cabinets, including that of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, have repeatedly articulated these principles, and Japan continues to uphold this position. In order to realize, at the earliest possible date, a peaceful and safe world free of nuclear weapons, it is important to make steady progress in implementing specific nuclear disarmament measures.

Japan welcomes the entry into force of the Russian-US Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reduction (the Moscow Treaty) in June of this year. We hope that the Treaty will be implemented steadily and that it will serve as an important step toward further nuclear disarmament efforts.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is one of the major pillars of the NPT regime and Japan is committed to promoting its early entry into force. The 3rd Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT, held in Vienna last month, produced some meaningful results. Prior to the Conference, the Japanese Foreign Minister, Mrs. Yoriko Kawaguchi, together with the President of the Conference and the Foreign Minister of Austria, sent a joint ministerial letter to those countries whose ratification is required for the CTBT to enter into force, encouraging them to ratify the Treaty as soon as possible. Japan has made some other efforts in promoting the early entry into force of the CTBT, such as providing technical assistance in verification technology to developing countries and launching the "CTBT National Operation System" in November last year. I would like to take this opportunity to once again urge all states that have not yet signed or ratified the Treaty to do so at the earliest date possible.

Japan places great importance on the commencement of negotiations on the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT). It is truly regrettable that the Conference on Disarmament (CD) has failed to commence FMCT negotiations, despite the agreement in the Final Document of the 2000 NPT Review Conference. Japan presented a working paper on the FMCT to the CD in August with a view to facilitating the early commencement of negotiations.

The NPT States parties held this spring the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2005 Review Conference of the Parties to the NPT, in which balanced and active discussions took place and an increased number of national reports were submitted, thus helping to enhance mutual understanding and transparency among States parties. In order to maintain and strengthen the NPT regime, it is essential to bring the 2005 Review Conference to a successful outcome. To this end, I would like to stress the need for the implementation of the agreements contained in the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference in both the aspects of nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament.

It is also important to promote universality of the NPT and to ensure compliance with the Treaty. Japan welcomes the accession by the Republic of Cuba and Timor Leste to the NPT. Japan urges all remaining non-member States to accede to the Treaty as non-nuclear weapon States without delay.

It is important to strengthen the IAEA safeguards and, in particular, to promote the universality of the IAEA Additional Protocol as an effective means to stem non-compliance. Japan has made various contributions by providing expertise and financial assistance to universality seminars held not only in the Asian-Pacific region, but also in Latin America, Central Asia and Africa. Last December, Japan held an international conference in Tokyo for the purpose of strengthening the IAEA safeguards.

Again this year, my delegation will submit to the General Assembly a draft resolution entitled "A path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons." We look forward to its adoption with the support of an overwhelming majority of Member States.

(Biological and Chemical)

Mr. Chairman,

It is important to strengthen the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) as well as the functioning of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Japan will continue to support the efforts of the OPCW. The States Parties to the CWC convened in the Hague in April of this year for the First Review Conference. The Conference generated some positive outcomes: a Political Declaration of the First Review Conference was adopted by consensus and commitment to the total elimination and non-proliferation of chemical weapons through an international verification system was reaffirmed.

Japan welcomes the fact that, at the resumed meeting of the Fifth Review Conference of the States Parties of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), convened in November of last year, the programme of work for the three years prior to the 2006 Review Conference was agreed upon by consensus. The meeting of experts held last August according to the agreed programme of work was a successful "kickoff" meeting. Japan contributed to this meeting with a presentation on biosecurity and the submission of working papers. Japan hopes that the outcome of the meeting will provide the foundation for a more focused discussion at the coming November States Parties Meeting.

(Missiles)

Mr. Chairman,

The international community must address the proliferation of ballistic missiles, which is a threat to international as well as regional peace and security. States must take concrete action to restrain and reduce missile activities, and to prevent their proliferation. The Hague Code of Conduct against the Proliferation of Ballistic Missiles (HCOC) was launched in November of last year. This constitutes a significant step forward as the first international norm which promotes the non-proliferation of ballistic missiles and calls for maximum self-restraint in the development, testing and deployment of ballistic missiles. Japan supports the universalization process of the HCOC and calls on non-participating countries to join the HCOC.

(Small Arms and Light Weapons)

Mr. Chairman,

The gravity of the problem of small arms and light weapons (SALW) is all too well illustrated by the fact that these weapons cause approximately five hundred thousand (500,000) casualties every year. Japan served as Chair in the United Nations First Biennial Meeting of States to Consider the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, which was held here in New York in July of this year. It was the first UN meeting to consider the implementation of the Programme of Action adopted at the 2001 UN Conference on SALW and the Report of the Meeting, annexed by the Chairperson's summary, was adopted by consensus, bringing the Meeting to a successful conclusion. As Chair of the Meeting, I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to all delegations for your spirit of cooperation in making multilateralism work.

This Meeting spurred various regional initiatives and provided a clear picture of the depth and extent of the commitment of the entire international community to work together in a multilateral framework to combat SALW problems. Its success clearly demonstrated that multilateralism matters and that we can make it work. A reference to the First Biennial Meeting was also made in the Chair's Summary of the G8 Evan Summit, prior to the Meeting. Japan hopes that all States will make efforts to reinforce their commitment to the Programme of Action and, building on the results of the Meeting, take concrete steps to strengthen national, regional and global efforts to tackle the problem of SALW in the lead up to the second Biennial Meeting in 2005.

Japan considers it essential to assist those countries affected by small arms. Japan has launched, for example, weapons collection projects in Cambodia. One of the pillars of these projects is known as "Weapons for Development"-- a voluntary surrender of weapons which will bring benefits to the community such as construction of schools, bridges, roads and water well.

(Other Conventional Weapons Issues)

Mr. Chairman,

The UN Register of Conventional Arms, established by the joint initiative of the European Community and Japan, has been playing a significant role in promoting transparency in armaments. Last year marked the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the Register and, in an effort to enhance its universality, Japan has been co-organizing a series of regional workshops with Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Nations in Africa, South America and Asia.

Japan will continue to make efforts to enhance the universality of the Ottawa Convention from a humanitarian point of view. Japan completed the destruction of its stockpile of anti-personnel mines, as required by the Convention, in February of this year. The Fifth Meeting of the States Parties to the Ottawa Convention held in Bangkok last month concluded successfully, and Japan has assumed the Co-Chair of the Standing Committee on Mine Clearance. I would like to take this opportunity to call upon non-States Parties to accede to the Convention.

Within the framework of the CCW, negotiations on explosive remnants of war are currently under way, as well as discussions on restricting the use of mines other than anti-personnel mines, with a view to drafting a negotiation mandate. Japan is willing to engage in substantive work for the upcoming November States Parties Conference.

(Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education)

Mr. Chairman,

In order to advance disarmament and non-proliferation, it is essential to gain the understanding and support of young people and of civil society as a whole. Well-balanced disarmament and non-proliferation education is important in this respect. Japan took the initiative to strengthen disarmament and non-proliferation education in the context of the NPT and introduced a working paper on disarmament and non-proliferation education at the NPT Second Preparatory Committee, on behalf of other co-sponsor countries, namely, Egypt, Hungary, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Poland and Sweden.

Japan has also received as many as 450 participants in the U.N. Disarmament Fellowship Programme over the past twenty years. The Programme includes visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It enables young diplomats to gain a deeper understanding of various disarmament issues, and many former fellow members are active in this field as ambassadors and diplomats. Japan will continue to support this meaningful Programme.

(UN Regional Centres)

Mr. Chairman,

Japan appreciates the activities of the three UN Regional Centres for Peace and Disarmament. It was encouraging to learn that meaningful discussions took place during the UN Disarmament Conference in Osaka in August of this year. Japan will continue to support the efforts of these UN Regional Centres.

(The Conference on Disarmament)

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to touch upon the current situation of the Conference on Disarmament (CD). It is truly regrettable that the CD, being the sole body for negotiation on multilateral disarmament, has been unable to enter into negotiations since the formulation of the CTBT in 1996. This stalemate must be resolved promptly. Japan served as President of the CD for the final part of this year's session. During that time, Japanese Foreign Minister, Mrs. Yoriko Kawaguchi, addressed the Conference, speaking on Japan's policy and its efforts in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation, and also appealed for an early agreement on a programme of work and the commencement of substantive works without delay. Japan hopes that, through the continued efforts in Geneva, as well as in the capitals of member States of the Conference, the CD will be able to start negotiations early next year. During the intersessional period, in my capacity as President of the CD, I will continue to hold consultations with member States of the CD, in close coordination with the incoming President, on ways to resolve the current stalemate, in accordance with the mandate provided by the annual report.

(Disarmament, Reconstruction and Reconciliation (DRR))

Mr. Chairman,

Before concluding, I would like to stress the importance of addressing disarmament in conjunction with the process of reconciliation in societies emerging from deep-rooted conflicts. From this viewpoint, I would like to draw your attention to the significance of coordinating and reinforcing the efforts on disarmament, reconstruction and reconciliation (DRR). In post-conflict situations, it is important for the international community to cooperate for the structural prevention of the resurgence of conflicts, not only through disarmament and demobilization, but also by promoting reconstruction and reconciliation. It is particularly important to consider how the concept of reconciliation can be embedded in the process of reconstruction in the post-conflict period and how disarmament programmes can be designed with a view to enhancing reconciliation.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.