Statement by Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi, Minister for Foreign Affairs, on the Reports by UNMOVIC and IAEA to the United Nations Security Council on the Inspections in Iraq

March 8, 2003

  1. On March 8th New York time (March 9th Japan time), Executive Chairman Blix of UNMOVIC and Director General ElBaradei of the IAEA reported to the UNSC. The report by Mr. Blix supplemented the quarterly report distributed on February 28th. While Executive Chairman reported that the destruction of Al Samoud 2 missiles had started and the private interviews were conducted, he pointed out again that Iraq should submit more records concerning the various items destroyed and that the information provided by Iraq so far was limited. Mr. Blix stated that UNMOVIC is planning to submit the work programme including key remaining disarmament tasks in accordance with the Security Council Resolution 1284 by the end of this month, and that it would still take months for verification even with a proactive Iraqi attitude, induced by continued outside pressure.

  2. Thus, based on the reports by Executive Chairman Blix and Director General ElBaradei, Japan considers that even though some progress is observed recently, Iraqi cooperation is still insufficient and limited despite the pressure from the international community. The peaceful solution which the international community, including Japan, is hoping for hinges on whether or not Iraq changes its attitude drastically and takes the final opportunity given to it. From this viewpoint, Japan considers it important to clearly demonstrate the united and determined attitude of the international community through the adoption of a new Security Council resolution. In addition, the Prime Minister's Special Envoy was dispatched to Iraq as Japan's own diplomatic effort. It is considered that there is no way but putting additional strong and consolidated pressure on Iraq from the international community in order to make Iraq cooperate immediately, fully and unconditionally and comply with its disarmament obligations.

  3. It is expected that the consultation among the Security Council members will become active in response to the proposal of a revised draft resolution. Considering that this draft resolution maintains international solidarity, places international community's consolidated pressure on Iraq, and makes the final effort to lead Iraq to disarming voluntarily, Japan supports this resolution. Japan continues its diplomatic effort for achieving international solidarity.

  4. The evacuation advisory was already issued to Japanese nationals staying in Iraq, Kuwait and Kafji area of Saudi Arabia, taking into account the current development of situation surrounding Iraq. The Japanese Government once again urges immediate evacuation to those who still remain in these regions. The Japanese Government also calls Japanese nationals staying in surrounding countries of Iraq to take appropriate security measures by taking close contacts with Japanese embassies and consulates general located in the region.

Back to Index