Statement by Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi, Minister for Foreign Affairs, on the Presentation of Information regarding the Iraqi Issue by US Secretary of State Powell

February 6, 2003

  1. On February 5th New York time (February 6th Japan time), US Secretary of State Powell presented information at the UNSC on Iraqi non-cooperation with inspection activities, Iraqi efforts to hide its WMDs etc, indicating that there is evidently no true intent on the part of Iraq to dismantle its WMDs. Japan highly appreciates this presentation, and attaches importance to the fact that this information has been presented.

  2. The presentation of information by Secretary Powell supports the report to the UNSC on January 27th by Executive Chairman Blix of UNMOVIC and Director General ElBaradei of the IAEA that cooperation by Iraq is insufficient. The presentation contains information that shows not only that Iraq is not actively cooperating with the inspections, but that it is making efforts to hide the WMDs and obstruct the inspections. As the result, we believe that suspicions on Iraqi WMDs have further deepened.

  3. Japan believes that we cannot expect the inspections to be conducted effectively unless Iraq changes its uncooperative behaviour. Bearing in mind that Iraq has failed to comply with its obligations under UNSC resolutions for a period of twelve years, Iraq should swiftly respond to the final opportunity afforded by UNSC resolution 1441. In addition, we strongly call upon Iraq once again, to proactively address the unresolved issues, and to comply with all relevant Security Council resolutions including its obligation to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction, in order for the situation to be resolved peacefully.

  4. We understand that there are plans for Executive Chairman Blix of UNMOVIC and Director General ElBaradei of the IAEA to visit Iraq this weekend to consult with the Iraqi side. We call on Iraq to respond sincerely to the demand by the international community that it actively cooperates with the inspections.

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