Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation
General Statement by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida at the 2015 NPT Review Conference
April 28, 2015
Before I begin, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the victims as well as their families and friends in Nepal and other countries affected by the massive earthquake.
70 years ago, in my hometown Hiroshima, a single bomb took more than one hundred and thirty thousand precious lives. Those who initially survived developed health problems and many of them lost their lives in later years. Many survivors have said that even though they do not want to remember their experience of the atomic bombings, they will never allow themselves to forget so that such an experience is never repeated.
Political leaders must have an objective assessment of the security environment of their country. But at the same time I believe it is important that we all clearly understand the humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons and stand by our ideals.
As Minister of Foreign Affairs from Hiroshima, I keep close to my heart the hopes of atomic bomb survivors, and I am determined to achieve progress towards a world free of nuclear weapons at this Review Conference.
Over 16,000 nuclear weapons still exist in the world today, and there are also developments that run counter to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation efforts. It is time to accelerate nuclear disarmament.
As the only country to have ever suffered atomic bombings, Japan attaches great importance to strengthening the NPT regime on all three pillars of the Treaty, and moving closer towards a world free of nuclear weapons. To this end, I urge both nuclear-weapon States and non-nuclear-weapon States to take joint action. In particular, I urge the nuclear-weapon States to faithfully fulfill their special responsibility pursuant to Article VI of the NPT.
There are no shortcuts to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Cooperation between nuclear-weapon States and non-nuclear-weapon States in advancing practical and concrete measures, which are outlined in the NPDI proposal, is the way forward.
I attach particular importance to the following five issues at this Review Conference.
The first issue is transparency of nuclear force. Nuclear weapons reduction negotiations are not possible if the number of nuclear warheads is not known. Furthermore, transparency builds confidence at the regional and international levels. We call on the nuclear-weapon States to make concrete and regular reports with numerical information.
The second issue is deeper reduction of all types of nuclear weapons and eventual multilateralization of nuclear weapons reduction negotiations. To date, reductions have been limited to strategic nuclear weapons possessed by the United States and Russia, but all nuclear weapons of all States possessing nuclear weapons will need to be reduced.
The third issue is our common recognition of humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and the unity of the international community to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons. This serves as a driving force for nuclear disarmament. In this regard, I would like to mention that young Japanese are here today as “Youth Communicators for a World without Nuclear Weapons,” which is a program that I established a few years ago. They are conveying beyond generations and across borders the tragedy that occurred in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Fourth is the visit to Hiroshima and Nagasaki by political leaders and youth. I would like to invite political leaders and youth, including those from nuclear-weapon States, to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki and witness with their own eyes the reality of atomic bombings. Between July 30th and August 6th, Japan will welcome in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, approximately 24,000 young people from around the world as part of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Program. We will do so in cooperation with these municipalities and civil society. Furthermore, Japan will host the United Nations Disarmament Conference as well as a meeting of the CTBT Group of Eminent Persons in Hiroshima at the end of August. We will also host the Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs in Nagasaki in November. In addition, as Japan assumes the Presidency of the G7 next year, we will host the G7 Summit and relevant ministerial meetings. The details are yet to be determined, but I hope political leaders visiting Japan will extend their journey to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The fifth point is resolving regional nuclear proliferation issues. North Korea's continued development of nuclear weapons and missiles programs poses a serious threat to international peace and security and represents a serious challenge to the NPT regime. We must send a robust message to North Korea. Japan welcomes the political understanding recently reached on key parameters of a final agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue. Japan will also redouble its international diplomatic efforts to achieve a final agreement. In order to deal with these issues, it is important to strengthen export controls and IAEA safeguards, including universalization of the IAEA Additional Protocol. Furthermore, Japan hopes for progress in the establishment of a Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone, and continues to make efforts in this regard.
To ensure the success of this Conference, the importance of peaceful uses of nuclear energy must be highlighted as one of the three pillars of the Treaty. Japan will contribute a total of 25 million dollars over the next 5 years to the Peaceful Uses Initiative to actively deliver, in a safer way, benefits of nuclear application to a larger number of people in broader areas, such as medicine, agriculture and water management. In light of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, Japan is determined to contribute to the enhancement of international nuclear safety.
We hope that all of you here today share the desire of atomic bomb survivors to live in a world free of nuclear weapons, and that this Review Conference will achieve a substantial outcome. As Minister for Foreign Affairs of the only country that suffered atomic bombings, and as chair of the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT that will be held in September, I reaffirm my determination to advance nuclear disarmament.
Thank you for your attention.