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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Kazuyoshi Umemoto,
on Agenda Item 88
“Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency”
6 November 2013
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me begin by thanking the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mr. Yukiya Amano, for presenting the IAEA’s annual report. Let me also congratulate Mr. Amano for his re-appointment as Director General. I would like to assure him that the full support of my Government will be extended to him.
The Government of Japan also welcomes Brunei Darussalam and the Commonwealth of The Bahamas as new members of the IAEA.
The Government of Japan would like to express gratitude once again for the great support and assistance coming from the international community for more than two and a half years since the Great East Japan Earthquake and its resulting tsunamis and the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (NPS) of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).
I would like to take this opportunity to explain briefly about our current efforts to address the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. Taking countermeasures against the contaminated water leakage is the most urgent task for us. As Prime Minister Abe stated, the entire Government will continue to work in an integrated manner to put its full weight into resolving the contaminated water issue, while also enhancing the dissemination of accurate information to the international community. With regard to the influence of the contaminated water, increased radioactivity was observed within the port of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, in an area smaller than 0.3 km². No significant increase in radioactive levels has been detected outside the port at present and the radioactive level outside the port and in the open sea remains below the limit of WHO’s Guideline for drinking water quality.
The nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station were cooled down and stabilized by the end of 2011. A significant decrease in radioactive releases has also been achieved. The Government of Japan and TEPCO are steadily taking measures to decommission the reactors. The decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and resolving the contaminated water issue are unprecedented tasks in which we are facing a series of difficulties. A structure to bring together technologies, expertise and wisdom from Japan and the international community, including the IAEA, is needed. In this context, the second IAEA decommissioning mission to address the contaminated water issue will be in Japan towards the end of November, following the mission that took place in April. Currently, two IAEA experts on marine monitoring are visiting Japan in preparation for the decommissioning mission. Japan will deal with the contaminated water issue and the decommissioning work in an internationally open manner and will welcome recommendations and cooperation from the IAEA and the international community.
Japan is determined to further contribute to the strengthening of nuclear safety worldwide by sharing the experiences and lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident with the international community. To this end, Japan hosted the “Fukushima Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety” in December last year in cooperation with the IAEA. 117 states and 13 international organizations participated in this conference and reaffirmed the importance of strengthening nuclear safety. Japan expresses gratitude to the Malaysian Government for co-chairing the conference, member states for their participation, and the IAEA Secretariat for their invaluable contribution to the success of the conference. It goes without saying that Japan will actively cooperate with the IAEA to formulate the IAEA’s comprehensive report on the Fukushima Daiichi Accident.
In July this year, the IAEA successfully organized the “International Conference on Nuclear Security”, the first ever ministerial-level conference on this issue at the IAEA. Japan, once again, would like to express its great appreciation for the efforts made by Director General Mr. Amano and his staff. Japan continues to play a responsible role in strengthening nuclear security as a country utilizing nuclear energy.
In order to promote peaceful uses of nuclear energy, it is essential that we strengthen the safeguards while ensuring nuclear safety and security. Japan therefore advocates the universalization of the Additional Protocol in the context of strengthening safeguards. In this regard, Japan welcomes the fact that five states concluded additional protocols in 2012 and is grateful for the work of the IAEA Secretariat in this regard. Japan, in cooperation with the IAEA and other member states, will continue to work on the universalization of the Additional Protocol.
The DPRK’s nuclear and missile development programs, including its work in uranium enrichment, are serious violations of the relevant Security Council resolutions. A nuclear test by the DPRK is totally unacceptable, as it represents a grave challenge to the international non-proliferation regime centered on the NPT, and seriously undermines the peace and security of Northeast Asia, as well as the international community as a whole. Furthermore, Japan is gravely concerned about the DPRK’s announcement in April this year, which shows its intention to readjust and restart its Yongbyon nuclear facilities. Japan strongly urges the DPRK to comply fully with all its international obligations and commitments under Security Council resolutions and the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six Party Talks and to completely abandon all its nuclear weapons and missile development programs in a verifiable and irreversible manner. Japan supports the critical role the IAEA continues to play in resolving the DPRK’s nuclear issue.
The Iranian nuclear issue is also a serious concern of the whole international community. Japan, while taking note of the recent positive atmosphere brought about by the new Iranian Government, urges Iran to comply with the demands of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the IAEA Board of Governors. We also call upon Iran to take substantive actions for the peaceful resolution of the issue. Japan notes that at the last meeting between the IAEA and the Islamic Republic of Iran on 28 and 29 October, positive aspects were seen, which can be conducive to substantive progress towards resolving Iran’s nuclear issue. In this regard, Japan continues to support the IAEA’s efforts. Japan expresses its expectation for meaningful negotiations with the EU3+3 and with the IAEA, hoping that the negotiations will soon lead to concrete results.
Thank you for your attention.