Mr. President,
Distinguished delegates,

Since this is my first time to take the floor under your Presidency, allow me to express my sincere appreciation, Mr. President, on your efforts to move the Conference forward at this very critical juncture, and I would like to assure you the full support and cooperation of my delegation.

Mr. President,

Japan welcomes the statement made by the United States last week about the result of its long-awaited policy review of the FMCT, because Japan places utmost importance on the prohibition of the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and other explosive devises. We believe this decision has opened a new window of opportunity for the CD and strongly hope that it will lead to the commencement of negotiations on a legally binding FMCT, as agreed at the 1995 and 2000 NPT Review Conferences.

The United States also mentioned that realistic and effective verification is not achievable. Japan believes that the FMCT should be effectively verifiable, as referred to in the Shannon Mandate. An effective verification regime is essential to enhance transparency and accountability of fissile material production in each country, thereby ensuring credibility of the treaty. We look forward to further discussions on the outcome of this policy review during the upcoming visit of US experts to Geneva.

Japan supports the US view that the FMCT is ripe for negotiation and that it should be de-linked from other issues. Japan has made its position clear, on numerous occasions, in its support for the A5 proposal as a basis upon which the CD can resume its substantial work. Each issue should be addressed at the appropriate time, according to its level of development. Japan sincerely hopes the CD can reach consensus on a programme of work that enables us to commence FMCT negotiations.

Mr. President,

As to the US proposal of a ban on the sale and export of persistent landmines, it may have certain significance among non-States Parties to the Ottawa Convention. Nevertheless, the majority of the CD member states have already adhered to the Ottawa Convention which stipulates a total ban on anti-personnel landmines. Thus Japan is of the view that it is important to first work towards the reinforcement and universalization of existing frameworks, including the Ottawa Convention.

Mr. President,

Japan calls upon all States to harness the momentum created by the US proposal on FMCT and to utilize this last session of the year to focus our energy on agreeing on a programme of work which enables the commencement of FMCT negotiations.

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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