Statement by H.E. Ambassador Yasuhisa Kawamura Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations at the Informal Meeting of the General Assembly to Mark the observance of the International Day Against Nuclear Tests

          Let me begin by thanking you, Mr. President, for convening this informal meeting. The existence of the International Day against Nuclear Tests bears testimony to the existence of a de facto international norm against nuclear testing.

          It is deeply regrettable that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) has not yet come into force. The international community nonetheless has made great strides towards the entry-into-force of the treaty which have also helped strengthen the norm against nuclear testing.

          The comprehensive verification regime, in particular the International Monitoring System (IMS) and the International Data Centre, has developed over the past 20 years. It now plays an important role in deterring nuclear testing. The provision of reliable data following all five nuclear tests by North Korea demonstrated that no state can conduct nuclear tests without detection, nor can escape from strong condemnation and sanctions by the entire international community. This year, Japan has disbursed approximately 2.4 million USD to the CTBTO to support further improvement of the IMS.

          North Korea, however, seems determined to continue its nuclear and missile programs and is the only country to have conducted nuclear tests in the 21st century. This is unprecedented, serious and grave threat to Japan, to the region, and to all Member States. We cannot accept this flagrant violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions and commitments under the 2005 Joint Statement of Six Party Talks. We strongly urge North Korea to immediately comply fully with its obligations and commitment.

          The international community faces a number of challenging issues today. The CTBT is one of the few concrete measures which enjoys nearly universal support. It also provides an area for strong international cooperation. A steady reduction of nuclear weapons in the future is possible through the CTBT. United action is indispensable to ultimately achieving a world free of nuclear weapons.

          As the co-coordinator for the Article XIV process together with Kazakhstan, Japan has made extensive efforts to support the entry into force of the CTBT and welcomes the ratification by Myanmar and Swaziland last year. More recently, Japan hosted a regional conference regarding facilitating the entry into force of the CTBT in Tokyo, which provided a valuable opportunity for dialogue on the CTBT in the Asia Pacific region.

          Japan looks forward to continuing to work closely with all Member States on the entry into force of the CTBT and on achieving a world free of nuclear weapons.