New York, 4 May 2010

Mr. President,

On behalf of the Government of Japan, I would like to express my heartfelt congratulations to you on your assumption of the Presidency of the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Let me assure you of my delegation's utmost support to your efforts.
Japan welcomes the initiatives of the United States, including President Barack Obama's speech in Prague last year, and the signing of the new START treaty by the United States and the Russian Federation as well as the success of Nuclear Security Summit. It is our hope that these positive movements towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation will lead to a successful outcome at this Conference. The five benchmarks proposed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday encourage us.

Mr. President,

I will first read out a message from the Prime Minister of Japan, Dr. Yukio Hatoyama.

The citizens of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki are watching with very keen eyes what will come out of this Conference. It was as few as two atomic bombs that claimed the lives of more than 200 thousand civilians, and left many to suffer from the after-effects of radiation even today 60 years later.

The threat of nuclear weapons is among the most serious challenges that humankind faces and such horrors must never be repeated. As the only country to have ever suffered atomic bombings, I believe Japan has a moral responsibility to act at the forefront of efforts towards the elimination of nuclear weapons and is firmly committed to its Three Non-Nuclear Principles.

I would like to see this Conference achieve agreement on concrete, forward-looking measures to be taken in each of the NPT's three mutually-reinforcing pillars; namely, nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Let me conclude my message by reiterating that all Parties to the Treaty must work to bridge the differences in their respective positions and find common ground for collaboration in the spirit of multilateralism, in order to pave the way for a "world without nuclear weapons" while also maintaining "atoms for peace."

Mr. President,

Leading up to this Conference, Japan has held a series of dialogues both with countries in possession of nuclear weapons and with non-nuclear-weapon States. We also studied closely useful proposals contained in the report of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament. These led to the submission by Japan and Australia of a policy proposal on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation measures as a working paper for this Conference. With respect to measures related to nuclear disarmament, Japan emphasizes the following four points in particular:

Firstly, Japan calls on the nuclear-weapon States to reaffirm an unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals;

Secondly, Japan calls on all states possessing nuclear weapons to pursue negotiations on nuclear disarmament bilaterally and/or multilaterally. Japan also calls on those states to make an early commitment to reducing, or at least not increasing, their nuclear arsenals, pending the conclusion of such negotiations. In this connection, Japan emphasizes the importance of applying the principles of irreversibility, verifiability and transparency to nuclear disarmament measures. In this regard, we appreciate the United States' initiative announced yesterday to make public the number of nuclear weapons in its stockpile and the number of nuclear weapons dismantled since 1991. We call on other states possessing nuclear weapons to follow suit.

Thirdly, Japan calls on the nuclear-weapon States and all other states possessing nuclear weapons to commit themselves to reducing the role of nuclear weapons. Japan calls on them to take, as soon as possible, such measures as providing stronger negative security assurances that they will not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States that comply with the NPT. In this context, Japan appreciates and welcomes the Nuclear Posture Review by the United States, and calls on all other states possessing nuclear weapons to follow suit and make similar commitments.

Fourthly, Japan strongly calls for an early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). We welcome yesterday's announcement by Indonesia to initiate a process of the ratification of the CTBT. Japan values such an action, which will strengthen the momentum for the early entry into force of the Treaty. Japan also calls for the early commencement and conclusion of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT).

And with regard to the statement made by Iran yesterday regarding the military bases in Japan, I would like to stress again that Japan continues to uphold the "Three Non-Nuclear Principles" of "not possessing, not producing and not permitting the introduction of nuclear weapons into Japan."

Mr. President,

The proliferation of nuclear weapons is a grave threat to the peace and security of the international community. It is important to strengthen, and improve the efficiency of IAEA safeguards as the most effective means to prevent nuclear proliferation. Japan believes that comprehensive safeguards measures together with an Additional Protocol should be today's IAEA safeguards standard. In order to universalize the Additional Protocol, it is necessary for us to extend assistance to developing countries that are willing to accept such a safeguard standard, so that they can improve their legal and technical infrastructure.

The series of activities by the DPRK including nuclear tests is a grave threat to the international non-proliferation regime and is absolutely unacceptable. Japan urges the DPRK to take concrete actions to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs in accordance with the Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks adopted in September 2005 and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

Japan is also increasingly deeply concerned over the developments regarding the Iranian nuclear issue. Japan urges Iran to restore the confidence of the international community by cooperating fully with the IAEA and fulfilling promptly the requirements set by a series of UN Security Council resolutions.

Mr. President,

Japan reaffirms the inalienable right of all State Parties to the NPT for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Japan has earned the trust of the international community by meeting the highest standards of nuclear safety, security and non-proliferation, and is reaping the greatest benefits from the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Japan will engage in international cooperation both bilaterally and through the IAEA, to share these experiences with other State Parties. At the same time, in an effort to utilize nuclear energy for the welfare of humankind, Japan will support international cooperation in advancing the priority agenda of IAEA Director-General Amano. It will do so because it is essential to address global issues facing developing countries, such as providing for radiation cancer therapy, and securing clean water and food safety.

It is also imperative that we continue to call on the countries that have not yet done so to accede to the NPT as non-nuclear-weapon States, and universalize the Treaty. From this viewpoint, the G8 foreign ministers agreed to work with all interested states to take practical steps towards implementing the Resolution on the Middle East in its entirety.

Mr. President,

While this conference is being held, "Hibakusha" including those from Hiroshima and Nagasaki are campaigning on the street corners of New York, and even in this building, to bring to our attention the tragedy inflicted by the atomic bombings. We hope all States share the wishes of those people. Japan owes it to the human race to speak about the catastrophes caused by nuclear weapons and pass on those realities to future generations. At the same time, the enthusiasm and attention of civil society that shares our goal of realizing a "world without nuclear weapons," as we have seen in movements like the "Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol," are also essential for keeping the momentum going for nuclear disarmament. Japan will therefore bolster efforts to further promote disarmament and non-proliferation education, working in partnership with other countries and civil society.

Mr. President,

We have reached the time where we must discuss seriously how to restore confidence in the NPT regime, which is one of the most important global norms for international peace and security, and ways for advancing towards the future. We who have gathered here today must recognize that we carry an immense responsibility vis-a-vis our future generations. Japan calls for the solidarity and cooperation of each country to overcome their different positions, muster the political will and do everything in their power to once again forge a consensus.

Thank you for your kind attention.

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