JULY 19th 2004


Mr. Chairman,
Distinguished delegates,

At the outset, I would like to congratulate you, Mr. Goosen, on your assumption of the Chairmanship of this Meeting, and assure you of my delegation's full support and cooperation as you lead us through this process of strengthening the BWC. I would also like to thank the Secretariat for its invaluable preparation, including the provision of relevant background documents.

Japan is particularly encouraged to see the active participation of an array of experts from throughout the world, and welcomes the participation of international organizations and NGOs. I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my appreciation to non-States Parties participating as signatories or observers, with a view to promoting universality of the Convention.

(Importance of BWC)

Strengthening of the BWC has become essential in the face of the growing threat of bioterrorism, and Japan is committed to this strengthening process, based on the three-year programme of work. The importance of the BWC has also been highlighted in the recently adopted Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004) and the G8 Action Plan on Nonproliferation.

Japan encourages States Parties to make every effort to promote the BWC process in the lead-up to the 2006 Review Conference, based on the programme of work, and to demonstrate to the international community the progress which is being made in its implementation. It is also important to continually assess the effectiveness of the existing mechanism in responding to BW threats.

(Objectives of this Meeting)

Last year's BWC Experts' Meeting provided an excellent opportunity for States Parties to discuss their efforts on national measures and biosecurity, identifying areas to be further strengthened. A wealth of information and experiences was shared, greatly contributing to the success of the Meeting of States Parties held in November of the same year. We believe that constructive discussion should also play an essential role in this year's Meeting as we prepare for the Meeting of States Parties in December.

It is our hope that, during this Meeting, common understandings will be developed between States Parties, through technical discussions and information exchange, to identify effective measures to address the topics of "disease surveillance" and "preparedness and response," notwithstanding differing national legal systems among States Parties. Japan looks forward to making an active contribution to this end.

(Japan's approach)

Mr. Chairman,

Strengthening of the BWC process is of particular importance in the Asian region, where the potential for countries to become suppliers of dual-use materials and technologies, which could be used to develop BW, is increasing in light of its rapid economic growth and expansion of industrial infrastructure. As a member of the Asia Pacific region, Japan places a high priority on the promotion of regional efforts to this aim, particularly in the areas of national legislation and its implementation, and export controls.

Allow me to name a few such efforts Japan has been making to share its experiences and national systems in order to contribute to capacity building in the region.

Japan has convened the following:

  • Seminar on Consequence and Crisis Management of Chemical and Biological Terrorism in the Asia Pacific Region (CBRN) in September 2003 (these seminars will be held over 5 years), promoting assistance and the implementation of national legislation with the aim of enhancing crisis management for biological and chemical terrorism
  • Asian Senior-level Talks on Non-proliferation (ASTOP)
  • Asia Export Control Seminar
  • Asian Export Control Policy Dialogue
  • Asia Non-Proliferation Seminar focusing on Maritime Cooperation
  • Asia Counter-Terrorism Conference, to enhance regional information exchange between investigating organs
  • Seminar on International Terrorism Investigation, to provide know-how on counter-terrorism measures including biological terrorism.

The topics to be addressed during this Meeting of Experts are closely related to the recent outbreaks of SARS and avian influenza in the Asian region. Japan has strengthened national response measures, and during these outbreaks, provided medical equipment and medicines, as well as dispatching experts to affected countries. Japan would like to share these experiences and knowledge, and we have thus included in our delegation various experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to make presentations on efforts we are making nationally as well as within a regional framework.

Japan will give presentations on the following topics:

  • Infectious Disease Surveillance and Control in Japan
  • Syndromic Surveillance System in Japan
  • SARS Surveillance and Response in Japan
  • Surveillance System on Infectious Diseases Affecting Animals in Japan
  • Enhancing capabilities for responding to a natural or deliberate epidemic of infectious diseases in Japan


Mr. Chairman,

Active participation by all States Parties is essential in order to achieve continued success in the BWC process. This meeting provides an excellent opportunity to reflect upon various national efforts through States Parties' presentations and working papers, and I hope that useful discussions will be held to contribute to the strengthening of the BWC.

Thank you.

Related Information (Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation)
Delegation of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament Official Web Siteother site

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