Statement by H.E. Ambassador Koro Bessho, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, on Agenda Item 92: “Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency”

(As delivered)
Mr. President,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
The Government of Japan highly commends Director General Amano’s work in addressing and promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and nuclear non-proliferation. Japan will continue to fully support the Agency and invites all Member States to do likewise.
 
Promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy is one of the three pillars of the NPT. Japan supports “Atoms for Peace and Development,” an initiative undertaken by DG Amano, as it contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
 
Japan will serve as the co-chair of the IAEA Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology, which will be held from the 28th of this month. I would like to request Member States’ support for the success of the upcoming conference. 
 
In order to promote peaceful uses of nuclear energy, it is essential that we strengthen existing safeguards that ensure nuclear safety and security. IAEA Safeguards are an essential instrument for nuclear non-proliferation.
 
Japan therefore advocates the universalization of the ‘Additional Protocol’ with a view to strengthening these safeguards. Japan has been striving to help universalize the Additional Protocols and make Safeguards more effective and efficient, including through contributing to the success of the IAEA Safeguards Symposium, which was held this November, as well as the Asia Senior-Level Talks on Non-Proliferation and the Asia Pacific Safeguards Network.
 
Over the past seven years, Japan has actively worked to enhance nuclear safety, drawing on the lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident, including by fundamentally reforming the regulatory structures in Japan.
 
Japan will continue to share its experiences from the accident with the international community and contribute to enhancing nuclear safety worldwide, including by assisting in the development of infrastructure and human resources in countries introducing new nuclear power plants.
 
Nuclear security is another key area of Japan’s focus. In view of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Japan and the IAEA signed practical arrangements on cooperation in nuclear security measures this year. On the basis of these arrangements, Japan will step up collaborative efforts with the IAEA to increase readiness for countering nuclear terrorism.
 
As for North Korea, at the Summit between the US and North Korea in June, the intention of Chairman Kim Jong-un towards complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula was reaffirmed in the form of a document. Japan supports this as a step forward towards the comprehensive resolution of outstanding issues of concern regarding North Korea. Japan reaffirms our strong commitment to working with the international community in achieving complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement (CVID) of all of North Korea’s nuclear weapons, existing nuclear programs, and related facilities in accordance with relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. Japan calls on North Korea to take concrete steps toward denuclearization.
 
The international community needs to come together to support the process between the United States and North Korea. We emphasize the critical importance for all States to fully implement relevant UN Security Council resolutions. We call upon all States to continue working collectively to this end.
 
The IAEA Director General’s recent report has pointed out that North Korea continues its nuclear program. Japan calls for cooperation from the international community to assist the IAEA in playing a key role in addressing this important issue.
 
Lastly, let me briefly say a word on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Japan supports The JCPOA, which contributes to regional stability and strengthening the international non-proliferation regime. Japan commends the IAEA’s essential role in the monitoring and verification of the JCPOA.
 
Mr. President,
 
In closing, I would like to reiterate, on behalf of my government, Japan’s firm commitment to further promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime.
 
I thank you, Mr. President.