Statement by Ambassador Kazuo Kodama,
Charge d'Affaires ad interim
on Agenda Item 86
“Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency”
5 November 2012
Mr. Director General,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me begin by thanking Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mr. Yukiya Amano, for presenting the annual report of the IAEA.
One year and a half after the Great East Japan Earthquake and its resulting tsunamis and the accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station (NPS) of Tokyo Electric Power Company, Japan is continuing efforts towards restoration of the stricken areas, including decontamination. We express our gratitude once again for great support and assistance provided from the international community to date.
Taking this opportunity, we would like to explain about some of the major steps we have taken to contribute to progress in the IAEA Nuclear Safety Action Plan over the past year. This issue is of particular importance to Japan as Japan is organizing the Fukushima Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety in Fukushima Prefecture in December in co-sponsorship with the IAEA. We find it important for the international community to implement the Action Plan, and to further share lessons and knowledge derived from the accident.
Firstly, in order to strengthen international nuclear safety, we have fully imparted information and knowledge about the accident with the international community. Japan has already presented two detailed reports to the IAEA on the course of events.
Secondly, Japan decided to strengthen its national nuclear regulatory body. A new regulatory body, the Nuclear Regulation Authority(NRA), was established, in order to achieve the separation of authorities for regulation and promotion, while ensuring that it enjoys a high degree of independence and that all important nuclear regulatory functions –safety and security, radiation protection, and beginning in April 2013, safeguards issues, namely all “3s” functions- fall within its purview.
Furthermore, Japan welcomes that Director General Amano expressed his intention to prepare a comprehensive report on the Fukushima Dai-ichi accident, to be finalized in 2014. Japan will actively cooperate on this effort.
In order to strengthen global nuclear security, Japan will continue to endeavor to provide further assistance to developing countries through the activities of the Integrated Support Center for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security in concert with the IAEA and other countries. Japan appreciates the IAEA’s efforts for promotion of the entry-into-force of the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material. Japan recognizes that this Amendment will bring important changes to global nuclear security, and so will make necessary efforts.
The IAEA is the only international organization which has expertise in all aspects of nuclear energy, not limited to nuclear safety and security. We should not loosen our effort to support these IAEA roles.
Japan attaches importance to the steady implementation of the Action Plan agreed at the 2010 NPT Review Conference, in concert with the IAEA and others. In this connection, Japan welcomes the ongoing efforts by the United States and Russia towards control and disposal of certain weapon-grade plutonium and operation of the IAEA verification. We expect similar efforts of the other nuclear weapon states.
To improve the IAEA safeguards’ effectiveness and efficiency, years of constant efforts by the international community are indispensable. As a result, the number of states with additional protocols in force increased from 110 to 119 over the past year, progress that Japan welcomes.
From this viewpoint, Japan will further contribute to efforts for universalization of the additional protocol. Specifically, we will do its utmost through the joint effort of the Non-Proliferation Disarmament Initiative (NPDI). It is a cross-regional group that aims to promote implementation of the consensus outcome of the 2010 NPT Review Conference and to contribute to the steady reduction of nuclear risks. Foreign Minister Gemba co-chaired the most recent ministerial-level meeting of the NPDI, held on 26 September of this year in the margin of the United Nations General Assembly. As stated in the Joint Ministerial Statement of that meeting, NPDI is working on the ministerial letters urging action on the Additional Protocol.
With regard to the regional nuclear issues, they are remaining to be the pressing challenge to the international community. The IAEA, carrying out its mission among others to prevent diversion to military uses of nuclear energy, has been playing important roles in those issues in the light of nuclear non-proliferation regime.
The nuclear issue of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is a threat to the peace and security in East Asia and the entire international community. Its uranium enrichment programme constitutes a clear violation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions and the September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks. Japan supports the critical role that the IAEA continues to play in resolving the DPRK’s nuclear issue.
As regards the Iranian nuclear issue, it is indispensable for Iran to take substantive measures to dissolve the concerns of the international community and to build its confidence. Japan will continue to act in concert with the international community for peaceful and diplomatic settlement of this issue.
The IAEA, pivotal in the nuclear non-proliferation system, has also been working decisively for resolution of the regional nuclear issues. For instance, last November the IAEA hosted the Forum on Experience of Possible Relevance to the Creation of a Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone in the Middle East to contribute to confidence-building efforts by the States concerned.
Promotion by the IAEA of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in a manner to ensure nuclear security, safety, and safeguards is sure to benefit all its member states.
Japan attaches great importance to IAEA technical cooperation, and as part of our action in this regard will make a contribution to the IAEA in the amount of 3.5 million US dollar in this fiscal year, in addition to the contribution made in the fiscal year of 2011, in order for the IAEA Peaceful Uses Initiative” to be a success. In addition, Japan will continue to contribute to the promotion of technical cooperation in the areas such as radiological science.
In light of the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station on March 11 last year, the Government of Japan, aiming at realizing a society not dependent on nuclear power in the 2030’s, while constantly reviewing and reexamining policies as carefully assessing future outlook including the international situation regarding energy, will mobilize all possible policy resources to demonstrate to the world a model which will underpin a good balance between the shift toward green energy and economic growth.
As a responsible country where this nuclear accident took place, taking fully into account lessons learned from this accident, with a view to enhancing safety in peaceful uses of nuclear energy through the worldwide efforts, Japan will continue to remain in concert and cooperate with the international community. Japan is resolved to definitely overcome the challenge which this historic accident posed for us by benefiting widely from wisdom of the world. Japan will endeavor, by obtaining cooperation from the IAEA and other countries, to be able to ensure the world highest level safety and security for peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and also to further secure your confidence in that there is no nuclear proliferation concern in and by Japan.
Thank you for your attention.