2003 Statement


H.E. Mr. Yoshiyuki Motomura

Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan

On Item 14, "Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency"

3 November 2003

Mr. President,

On behalf of the Japanese Government, I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), for his statement as well as for preparing the report of the Agency.

Mr. President,

The NPT regime has been a key element in world peace and stability and serves the common interest to all of us. In the light of the current situation, I would like to reaffirm my country's unshakable commitment to the NPT regime.

The Atomic Energy Basic Law of Japan strictly limits the use of nuclear energy to peaceful purposes. Japan is the only country to have suffered nuclear devastation, and firmly adheres to the long-standing policy of the "Three Non-nuclear Principles". These principles state that we shall not possess or produce nuclear weapons, nor permit the introduction of such weapons into Japan. This policy will not change, and Japan will never possess nuclear weapons. Japan will fulfill its obligations under its safeguards agreement with the IAEA and its Additional Protocol, to attain full transparency in its nuclear activities, including the utilization of plutonium.

The peaceful, appropriate use of nuclear energy greatly contributes to the welfare of mankind and to social and economic development worldwide. It also minimizes the burden on the environment. The nuclear energy option, therefore, is of vital importance for mankind.

Under the present circumstances, in which challenges to the NPT regime and IAEA safeguards have surfaced, the IAEA's activities for the purpose of strengthening and promoting the peaceful use of nuclear energy and nonproliferation are all the more relevant and noteworthy now.

Mr. President,

In view of recent challenges to the NPT regime, the IAEA safeguards system must be strengthened. To that end, we must promote universalization of the Additional Protocol. Currently, 78 states have signed an Additional Protocol, but only 37 of them including Japan have brought it into force. These figures are far from satisfactory. My Government would like to request countries that have not yet done so to sign and conclude an Additional Protocol.

In cooperation with the IAEA, Japanese Government hosted the International Conference on Wider Adherence to Strengthened IAEA Safeguards in Tokyo last December. This Tokyo Conference, which aimed to consolidate the outcomes of the preceding regional seminars, was very successful, with 82 participants from 36 countries throughout the world. The participants reaffirmed the importance of the Additional Protocol, and the Chairman's Summary of the Conference put forth a series of actions for the purpose of encouraging adherence to the Additional Protocol. In keeping with the outcomes of this Conference, we will continue to make efforts towards the universalization of the Additional Protocol, building on our extensive experience in its implementation.

Mr. President,

Since the terrorist attacks on September 11th two years ago, nuclear security has become an important issue for the international community. The IAEA plays a vital role in this area. It is worth noting that participants in the International Conference on Security of Radioactive Sources held in Vienna last March agreed on the importance of the security of radioactive sources in the context of the fight against nuclear terrorism. Moreover, at the G8 Evian Summit held this year, the G8 leaders reached an agreement on "a Statement and an Action Plan for securing radioactive sources." Japan, as a member of the G8, continues to take appropriate measures in this area, and also expects the international community to work on improving management of radioactive sources and to support the role of IAEA in this matter.

Mr. President,

The North Korea nuclear issue has heightened international tension since October last year. It is regrettable that North Korea remains in non-compliance with its safeguards agreement with the Agency and in proceeding with nuclear weapons development. This is a very serious issue for the peace and stability not only of the region but of the international community as a whole.

The basic positions of my Government with regard to the North Korea nuclear issue are as follows. First, North Korea's development of nuclear weapons and its possession and transfer of such weapons are totally unacceptable. Secondly, North Korea must come into compliance with all international obligations related to the nuclear issue, including the NPT. Third, North Korea must immediately dismantle its nuclear weapons program and nuclear development program in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. My government is aiming at achieving a peaceful and diplomatic solution of the nuclear issue through the process of the Six-Party Talks. My government urges North Korea to take positive and responsible measures toward resolving this issue. We believe that the IAEA can play an important role in the verification of the North Korea nuclear issue, and will continue to support the Agency's efforts for the peaceful solution of this matter.

Mr. President,

As regards the recent decisions made by the Iranian Government on its nuclear program, which are for the most part in line with the requirements enumerated in the September IAEA Board of Governors' resolution, Japan views such developments as a positive step. It is important, however, that Iran act in accordance with its own decisions and also comply fully with the IAEA Board of Governors' resolution. We will be closely watching Iran's actions and will pay close attention to the upcoming report by the Director General, while cooperating closely with the international community and the IAEA in the effort to resolve this issue.

In closing, Mr. President, I would like to reiterate my government's strong commitment to and support for the activities of the IAEA, so that it may fulfill its noble mission under the leadership of the Director General.

I thank you, Mr. President.