The Tenth NPT Review Conference
(Statement by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa)
August 27, 2022
- The Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which had been held in New York since August 1, closed today (August 26, local time).
- Since the last Review Conference in 2015, the environment surrounding the NPT has become even more severe. The environment surrounding the Conference has also been extremely severe and the prospect of adopting a consensus final document was not bright.
- The NPT is the cornerstone of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, and Japan has been striving with strong conviction that maintaining and strengthening the NPT is the only realistic path toward a world without nuclear weapons. On the first day of the Conference, Prime Minister Kishida attended the Conference and delivered a speech at the General Debate session. In his speech, he proposed the “Hiroshima Action Plan”, and since then, Japan had made utmost efforts for the adoption of a consensus document through the engagement with H. E. Ambassador Zlauvinen, President of the Review Conference and representatives of the delegations from various countries with a view to achieving a meaningful outcome at the Conference. As a result, Japan's proposals, including the "Hiroshima Action Plan," gained support and appreciation from many counties. Moreover, 88 countries joined the Joint Statement on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education submitted by Japan, which marked the largest number of support ever. Many of the ideas and proposals that Japan advocated at the Conference, including the importance of continuing the non-use of nuclear weapons and maintaining the decreasing trend of the global nuclear stockpile, were reflected in the draft final document. For Japan, this is a tremendous achievement, and I believe this would provide a basis for the international community to advance realistic discussions on nuclear disarmament.
- It is deeply regrettable, however, that Russia expressed its objection at the final stage of the Conference due to the issue surrounding Ukraine, resulting in Conference’s failure to adopt the final document by consensus. Nevertheless, we consider it meaningful that a draft final document was created with the support of all State parties except for Russia through serious discussions among them. Furthermore, At the Conference, the timing of the next Review Conference and the process leading to it, as well as the establishment of a working group on further strengthening the review process, which Japan had long advocated through the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI), were agreed. This demonstrates the will of State parties to maintain and strengthen the NPT, and Japan appreciates it.
- As the division within the international community over nuclear disarmament has become even greater, it is of vital importance to maintain and strengthen the NPT that both nuclear-weapon and non-nuclear-weapon States participate. With the firm conviction that this is the only realistic pathway to nuclear disarmament, and in line with the “Hiroshima Action Plan”, Japan will work to foster the momentum of the international community to realize a world without nuclear weapons through discussions including those at the G7 Summit in Hiroshima next year, and to make a step steadily and tenaciously to advance realistic and practical efforts.