Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Technology
Summary Statement by Prime Minister Abe
March 24, 2014
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak.
My country, Japan, will continue to do its best to enhance nuclear security domestically and internationally in order to globally promote nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons. These efforts reflect Japan’s policy of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” to contribute even more actively in securing peace and stability of the world.
Japan’s responsibility in the world
As the only country that has suffered from nuclear bombings at war, and as a nation possessing advanced nuclear energy capabilities, Japan strives all the time to ensure the 3Ss, Safeguards, Safety and Security, which are essential for advancing the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Restricting the uses of nuclear energy for solely peaceful purposes, Japan has an impeccable and long standing track record in the IAEA safeguards. Japan underwent the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. We have been sharing the lessons learned, useful not only for Safety but also Security in the context of counter-terrorism.
Japan has a responsibility to lead the global efforts on enhancing nuclear security. I will continue to be in the front line of Japan’s efforts. I would like to articulate our tangible achievements and further commitments from the following three points of view.
Tangible achievements and further commitments
First is the minimization and appropriate management of nuclear material, which is the core issue of this Summit.
Japan has been working to minimize nuclear material through, for example, transferring such material to the US for disposition, to contribute to strengthening global nuclear security. Japan, in cooperation with the United States, has decided to remove all highly-enriched uranium and separated plutonium from the Fast Critical Assembly, or “FCA,” which is one of the research reactors in Japan, and President Obama and I issued a joint statement. Japan and the United States also decided to implement the cutting edge research, originally intended to be carried out using FCA fuel, with alternate fuel through Japan-US cooperation. Under these arrangements, both countries are able to fulfill the needs to strengthen the measures against nuclear terrorism as well as to enhance nuclear research and development activities. We will continue to make efforts to minimize nuclear material in such a manner.
With regard to plutonium, we will firmly maintain our policy that we should possess no plutonium reserves without specified purposes. In order to effectively carry out this policy, we do pay due consideration to the balance between supply and demand of plutonium. What will continue, also, is our most careful management of the reserves.
The second area of tangible achievements and further commitments is strengthening domestic nuclear security.
Japan strengthened its domestic system by establishing the Nuclear Regulation Authority in September 2012 to address Safeguards, Safety and Security, the so-called “3Ss,” in an integrated manner. Strengthening measures to protect against nuclear terrorism at nuclear facilities is included in the Strategy to Make Japan “the Safest Country in the World," which compiled crime countermeasures and was approved by the Cabinet in December 2013. We will continue to maintain nuclear security also in the process of restarting nuclear power plants.
Moreover, Japan is going to receive an IPPAS (International Physical Protection Advisory Service) mission by spring 2015 in order to benefit from an international review on our physical protection system of nuclear material and nuclear related facilities. We will continue to enhance activities that foster a nuclear security culture in Japan. As for the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, we submitted it to the Japanese Parliament in February.
The third point is the enhancement of our international contributions.
Japan has been leading a voluntary framework called ‘Gift Basket’ on transport security in which France, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States participate. Today, we issued a joint statement by the five countries and a report on a table-top exercise held in November last year.
Also, we will further promote research and development activities for leading-edge technologies including nuclear forensics and nuclear detection capabilities at research institutes such as the Japan Atomic Energy Agency. We will reinforce the activities of the Integrated Support Center for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security, established in December 2010 as the first Center of Excellence (CoE) in Asia, in order to contribute to the human resource development and capacity building of other countries. We will further strengthen our collaboration with the IAEA and other organizations while enhancing our networking activities with the CoEs in other countries.
In conclusion, Japan is determined to put to rest domestic concerns about nuclear terrorism and to meet the world’s expectations. I myself will continue to responsibly enhance nuclear security both domestically and internationally.
I will further deepen our cooperation with other countries all over the world.
Thank you very much.