Remarks by H.E. Mr. Yukio Takasu
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Japan
at the Opening Ceremony for the exhibition "Against Nuclear Arms"
10 August 2009
Thank you very much, UN Under-Secretary-General Akasaka,
Deputy Secretary General
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to welcome all of you to the opening of the exhibition titled as "Against Nuclear Arms." Your presence here is a real boost to our common efforts towards a world free of nuclear weapons.
This exhibition was materialized as a result of good cooperation between the Permanent Missions Japan and Kazakhstan. Both our two countries share experiences of the horror of nuclear weapons. "Against Nuclear Arms" tells tragic stories about the consequences of the very existence of nuclear weapons. The memory of these tragedies should not be forgotten. Instead, it should be refreshed time and again and shared by every man and woman in the world. Such tragedy should never be repeated in human history.
The 64th Peace Memorial Ceremonies solemnly took place in Hiroshima on 6th of August and Nagasaki on 9th August, just two days ago. On those occasions, the President of the General Assembly welcomed the heightened momentum in the world now for nuclear disarmament and emphasized the moral authority of Japan to take a leading role in achieving the goal.
Japan is a country which has experienced the devastation of atomic bombs and holds a long cherished hope that our future generations can live in a world free of nuclear weapons.
As the world has changed since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 64 years ago, as has the threat of nuclear weapons, the threat has increased over time, as several nations continue to possess large nuclear arsenals, and some are striving to obtain them. It is essential to strengthen the NPT regime which is the cornerstone for realizing a peaceful and secure world. As Foreign Minister Nakasone of Japan stressed in a recent statement titled "Conditions towards Zero -- 11 Benchmarks for Global Nuclear Disarmament", Japan is determined to work toward a successful NPT review conference May next year in New York.
To name a few of those efforts, Japan is taking the lead in encouraging the signature and ratification of the CTBT, Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, by countries that have not yet done so, to achieve the earliest possible entry into force.
Japan has also initiated a resolution in the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament for the last 15 years. We are very much grateful to all member states who supported this resolution which is now entitled "Renewed determination towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons."
The radical and the radioactive impact of a nuclear blast causes suffering for generations. Japanese people fully share sympathy and solidarity with victims of the nuclear testing in Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan.
Japan has extended substantial financial, technical, and medical support to those victims. It is also important to protect and empower those communities and people in Semipalatinsk from the perspective of human security. I am pleased that support is provided to such projects from the UN Trust Fund for Human Security.
I would like to conclude by expressing a strong hope that this exhibition will provide an opportunity to all of us to renew our commitment to achieve a world free from nuclear weapons.
Thank you very much.
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