2004 Statement


H.E. Mr. Yoshiki Mine

Head of the Delegation of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament

At the Third Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2005 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

26 April 2004

Mr. Chairman,
Distinguished delegates,

At the outset, I would like to express my heartfelt congratulations to you, Ambassador Sudjadnan, on your assumption of the chairmanship of this 3rd Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the 2005 Review Conference of the Parties to the NPT. I am confident that this PrepCom will be a constructive lead-up to the 2005 Review Conference under your able leadership. I assure you of my delegation's full support throughout the session.

I would also like to express my sincere appreciation to Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs of the United Nations, Mr. Nobuyasu Abe, and the members of his Department, for the hard work they have put into in preparing this PrepCom.

(The role of the NPT)
Mr. Chairman,

The NPT is a treaty on both nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. These two complementary aspects are closely interlinked, hence both aspects need to be promoted.

With respect to nuclear non-proliferation, the Treaty has been significantly reinforced by the achievement of its near-universality, the 1995 decision on its indefinite extension, and the introduction of the Additional Protocol. It therefore contributes greatly to the enhancement of international security.

As for nuclear disarmament, the NPT obligates nuclear-weapon States to pursue nuclear disarmament. The total elimination of their nuclear weapons should be achieved through the full implementation of Article VI. The 1995 decision on "Principles and Objectives" and the Final Document of the 2000 Review Conference reaffirm this objective.

All States Parties must remain fully convinced that the NPT is a key instrument in realizing global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. Both nuclear-weapon States and non-nuclear-weapon States must remain fully committed to their obligations and commitments under the Treaty.

(Japan's basic stance)
Mr. Chairman,

Japan considered it important to demonstrate to the international community that it would not pose a threat to the world, and hence renounced the option of nuclear armament. In 1955, Japan enacted the Atomic Energy Basic Law, which limits nuclear activities in Japan exclusively to peaceful purposes. Subsequently, in 1967, Japan announced the "Three Non-Nuclear Principles," of "not possessing, not producing and not permitting the introduction of nuclear weapons into Japan." Japan has upheld these principles and will continue to do so.  

Japan acceded to the NPT in 1976 as a non-nuclear-weapon State, and internationally promised to renounce the option of nuclear armament. Today, the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, with the NPT as its cornerstone, is a fundamental pillar of Japan's security. Japan also accepted the IAEA safeguards to provide transparency of its nuclear activities. Japan promptly concluded the Additional Protocol in 1999. Evidently, Japan attaches crucial importance to the NPT regime for its peace and prosperity, and is convinced that this recognition is shared by a substantial part of the international community.

Japan has been making active diplomatic efforts aimed at realizing a peaceful and safe world free of nuclear weapons at the earliest possible date. Japan has submitted a draft resolution on nuclear disarmament entitled "A path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons" to the UN General Assembly each year since 1994, which was adopted by an overwhelming majority of the international community.

The year 2005, during which the NPT Review Conference is scheduled to be held, will mark the 60th anniversary of the tragedies in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan calls upon all Parties to the NPT to reaffirm their strong commitment to the elimination of all nuclear weapons in the lead-up to the Review Conference, with the unfailing determination that nuclear devastation never again be repeated. There is also strong support from the general public and the international community toward this aim.

Recent challenges to the NPT regime, such as DPRK's nuclear program and Dr. Khan's underground network, have brought to light the urgency for States to demonstrate their collective commitment to the NPT in the lead-up to the 2005 Review Conference. The utmost importance of such a commitment cannot be overemphasized if we are to maintain and strengthen the NPT regime, and ensure the success of the 2005 Review Conference. Japan considers it important that this PrepCom produce a consensus report containing recommendations to the 2005 Review Conference.

(Issues of primary importance)
Mr. Chairman,

Given the ever-present challenge faced by the international community to curb nuclear proliferation, nuclear non-proliferation will no doubt constitute an important issue for discussion during this PrepCom. Dr. Khan's underground network supporting the proliferation of nuclear-related technology, as a more recent example, reaffirms the necessity for the further strengthening of existing nuclear non-proliferation regimes. In this respect, specific measures, such as the strengthening and universalization of IAEA safeguards, the physical protection of nuclear material, and the strengthening of export control, should be the subject of extensive discussion at this PrepCom. Japan also attaches great importance to the strengthening of non-proliferation mechanisms in Asia, and has been making efforts to this aim.

Progress in nuclear disarmament is equally important with a view to maintaining the NPT regime. Japan continues to urge all nuclear weapon States to implement concrete measures to this end. It should be recalled that the decision in 1995 to extend the NPT indefinitely was an integral part of a package with "Principles and Objectives," which includes the promotion of nuclear disarmament. Nuclear-weapon States should seriously note the commitment made to date by nearly all countries to renounce the option of nuclear armament under the NPT regime, and it is imperative that they respond to this resolute determination held by non-nuclear weapon States by demonstrating tangible progress towards nuclear disarmament.

In this context, Japan welcomes the entry into force of the Moscow Treaty between Russia and the United States, which should serve as an important step for further nuclear disarmament. Japan hopes for full implementation of the Treaty by both States. It is nonetheless regrettable that no progress has been made with regard to the entry into force of the CTBT or the commencement of FMCT negotiations, despite relevant agreements that have been formulated to this end. The CTBT is of historic significance in that it promotes both nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation by restricting the qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons. Japan considers the early entry into force of the CTBT extremely important. Japan's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Yoriko Kawaguchi, attended the Third Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT last year, and stressed the importance of the early entry into force of the CTBT, as well as the moratoria on nuclear test explosions pending the entry into force of the CTBT.

Mr. Chairman,

Japan is concerned with the DPRK's declaration of its intention to withdraw from the NPT, as well as its refusal to accept the IAEA safeguards agreement. The international community urges the DPRK to retract such decisions immediately. The continuation of the Six-Party Talks process is important, with a view to realizing a peaceful and early resolution of the current problem. Japan urges the DPRK to dismantle all of its nuclear programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.

Japan welcomes Iran's decision to act in accordance with the Additional Protocol's provisions, pending its entry into force. Japan expects and trusts that Iran will, in order to dispel international concerns, respond to all outstanding requests contained in the IAEA Board resolutions, ratify the Additional Protocol speedily, and continue and intensify cooperation with the IAEA, in particular through the prompt provision of detailed information.

Japan welcomes Libya's decision to abandon all of its WMD programmes. Japan calls upon Libya to promptly ratify and fully implement the Additional Protocol. Japan strongly hopes that the DPRK, and those states under the suspicion of WMD development, will follow Libya's example.

(Strengthening dialogue with civil society and future generations---disarmament and non-proliferation education)
Mr. Chairman,

Last but not least, I would like to touch upon the importance of disarmament and non-proliferation education. In the current unsettled security environment, there is a patent need to inform people of the dangers posed by weapons of mass destruction. In order to advance disarmament and non-proliferation, it is essential to gain the understanding and support of young people who will lead the future generations, and of civil society as a whole. Japan places a great emphasis on disarmament and non-proliferation education and welcomes the Report of the Secretary-General entitled "United Nations study on disarmament and non-proliferation education," which was prepared by the Group of Governmental Experts on Disarmament and Non-proliferation Education. Japan has been making various efforts in this field, including inviting disarmament educators from overseas. Japan is committed to the continuation of such efforts.

Japan will again submit a working paper on disarmament and non-proliferation education to this PrepCom. Japan encourages other States to become co-sponsors of this working paper, and to voluntarily share information on efforts they have been undertaking in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation at the 2005 Review Conference. To this end, Japan will submit an additional working paper entitled "Japan's Efforts in Disarmament and Non-proliferation Education" to this PrepCom.

Thank you very much.