The Results of the Fifth Asian Senior-level Talks on Non-Proliferation (ASTOP-V)

May 1, 2008

  1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs held the Fifth Asian Senior-level Talks on Non-Proliferation (ASTOP-V) on Friday, April 25, at Mita House. Senior governmental officials in charge of non-proliferation policies from the ASEAN member countries, Australia, Canada, China, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, the United States, and Japan, the host, participated in the meeting.
     
  2. Mr. Hitoshi KIMURA, Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, gave an opening speech, in which he explained that Japan has been holding ASTOP, recognizing that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction constitutes a threat to the peace and security of the Asian region and the entire international community.  In addition, Senior Vice-Minister KIMURA expressed, in his speech, that, as Japan will chair the G8 Summit this year, Japan will reflect the outcome of discussions, including matters of interest expressed by Asian countries in their non-proliferation effort, in the forthcoming discussion in the G8 process. Senior Vice-Minister KIMURA referred to concerns related to nuclear and missile issues of North Korea and the Iranian nuclear issue. Senior Vice-Minister KIMURA also stated that Japan would extend its cooperation to further strengthen non-proliferation efforts in the Asian region.
     
  3. The main points of the talks were as follows:
  4. (1) Participants exchanged views on the recent international situation regarding non-proliferation. As for North Korea, the issues covered include North Korea’s launching of ballistic missiles, its announcement of nuclear test in 2006 to the recent development in the Six Party Talks. Views were also exchanged on recent development regarding Iran’s nuclear issue. Discussions covered non-proliferation-related concerns over Syria announced by the US Government as well.

    (2) On the strengthening non-proliferation measures in Asian countries, participants shared the views on the importance of: (a) domestic implementation of UN Security Council resolutions related to non-proliferation; (b) strengthening of export control system, and (c) universalization of the IAEA Additional Protocol. Also, in the context of Nuclear Renaissance(*), the significance of infrastructure development, necessary for the promotion of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, including 3Ss, namely, non-proliferation / Safeguards, Safety and Security, was pointed out. Experiences of various countries in implementing such measures were also provided.

    (3) Regarding the PSI as one of new tools of non-proliferation, Japan shared with all the participants the outcome of the PSI Maritime Interdiction Exercise “Pacific Shield 07” hosted by Japan last year. With regard to the SUA 2005 Protocol, participants shared their experiences and confirmed its significance.

    (*)  Nuclear Renaissance: Re-evaluation of the nuclear power generation and a rise in the number of countries which plan to introduce or extend the nuclear power generation, against the backdrop of the increasing energy demand in the international market and the need to tackle the global warming.

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