Statement by the Press Secretary/Director-General for Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Timor-Leste Accession to the NPT and the BWC

May 8, 2003

  1. Japan welcomes that on May 5 (Mon), Timor-Leste deposited the instrument of accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) with the U.S.A., one of the Depositary Governments of the NPT and BWC, thereby becoming the 189th Party to the NPT, and on the same day acceded to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), becoming the 150th Party to the BWC.

  2. The NPT and the BWC contribute to international peace and security as cornerstones of the international non-proliferation regime of nuclear and biological weapons. Timor-Leste accession at this time will lead to further strengthening of the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

  3. Japan intends to continue urging early accession to the NPT upon the remaining key non-State Parties (India, Pakistan and Israel), and to make continuous efforts for the strengthening of the BWC.

Japan has urged upon the accession to the NPT on non-State Parties. In particular, on 24 April 2003, Mr. Tetsuro Yano, Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, called upon Dr. Ramos Horta, Senior Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Timor-Leste, to submit its early accession to the NPT, during his visit to Japan. Dr. Horta advised that preparation was well under way and that it would join the NPT in due time.

On 29 April 2003, Dr. Kuniko Inoguchi, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament, introduced this positive development of Timor-Leste in her general statement at the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2005 Review Conference of the Parties to the NPT. The NPT members welcomed this news.

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