Statement by H.E. Ms. Seiko NODA,
Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy
Head of Delegation of Japan
At the 53rd General Conference of the IAEA
14 September 2009

- Sharing a "New Vienna Spirit" -

1. Opening Address

Madame President,
Mr. Director General,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen

On behalf of the Government of Japan, I would like to congratulate you, Madame President, on your election as President of the 53rd regular session of the IAEA General Conference. I would also like to welcome the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Republic of Rwanda as new members.

2. Japan's Role and Contributions to the IAEA

Madame President,

The Agency plays a key role not only in nuclear non-proliferation but also in promoting the peaceful uses of atomic energy in fields such as nuclear safety and security as well as technical cooperation, and thus is one of the most important international organizations in the maintenance of peace and prosperity for humanity.

I am pleased that under the prominent leadership of Director General, Dr. ElBaradei, the Agency has gained an increased level of confidence and wider recognition by the international community. I would like to take this opportunity to express Japan's sincere appreciation to Dr. ElBaradei for his many accomplishments over the years.

Japan has been making significant contributions to the Agency's activities as a member of the Board of Governors since the foundation of the Agency, and as a model country in terms of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The knowledge and experience acquired by Japan in this field has been shared widely and constructively with many developing countries by means of Technical Cooperation. While adhering to the "Three Non-Nuclear Principles," Japan has also been contributing to strengthening and developing the IAEA safeguards system, by sharing its advanced safeguards technology with the Agency.

Japan, in close cooperation with all Member States, is determined to make continuing contributions to the Agency for its further development and reinforcement. The nomination of Ambassador Yukiya Amano, as a candidate for the post of Director General of the IAEA, is evidence that demonstrates this determination. Japan is, thus, very delighted that the appointment of Ambassador Amano as the next Director General was approved at today's plenary session. Japan also wishes to express its heartfelt gratitude for the valuable support extended by Member States to Ambassador Amano.

Expressing our firm conviction that the Agency will continue to develop and be reinforced further under the leadership of future Director General Amano, Japan would like to ask all Member States to unify with a view to tackling the difficult issues the international community faces.

3. Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy

Madame President,

In response to the growing energy demand and to global warming, the international community has, in recent years, begun reevaluating the role of nuclear energy, and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, including nuclear power generation, has gathered momentum.

It is necessary to give due consideration to "3S," namely nuclear non-proliferation/safeguards, safety and security, in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. An initiative was launched at the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit last year to encourage the countries that are considering the introduction of nuclear power generation to ensure 3S. As a follow-up activity to this initiative, Japan will, in cooperation with the Agency, continue to hold regional seminars on 3S and plans to host an international conference next year on nuclear security for Asia, particularly for those countries introducing nuclear power programmes.

Furthermore, cooperation is essential in the various stages of preparation necessary for the introduction of nuclear power, including human resource development and the establishment of legal and regulatory frameworks. To meet such requirements, Japan will extend various kinds of assistance, including the sharing of our experience and knowledge through multilateral and bilateral cooperation. Japan will also continue to cooperate with the Agency in expanding its assistance for those countries planning to introduce nuclear power generation, including through extra-budgetary contributions to the IAEA towards the Development of a National Infrastructure for Nuclear Power Plants, through the dispatching of experts, and by contributing actively to the related international conferences.

In addition, with a view to reinforcing efforts to combat global warming, it is necessary to mobilize all effective technologies, including those related to nuclear energy. Japan argues that specific types of technology, such as nuclear technology, should not be excluded when considering the role of the Clean Development Mechanism.

On the assurance of nuclear fuel supply, taking various views into careful consideration, Japan hosted the "Seminar on Global Nuclear Fuel Supply" at the IAEA Headquarters in January of this year, in cooperation with the IAEA Secretariat. The purpose of this seminar, which was attended by approximately 200 participants from Member States, was to allow for information-sharing and fact-finding on issues relating to the whole front-end of the nuclear fuel cycle that would be necessary for those States involved to further discuss the assurance of nuclear fuel supply. We hope that such initiatives will contribute to fostering an environment that will facilitate discussions at the IAEA on the assurance of nuclear fuel supply. Japan, as a country actively engaging in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, will continue to participate proactively in discussions on the stable supply of nuclear fuel.

4. Technical Cooperation

Madame President,

Japan believes that IAEA Technical Cooperation should continue to be one of the main pillars of IAEA activities. Japan has a long history and numerous achievements in the field of radiation application, and recognizes the important role of nuclear science and technology in the development of social economy. Therefore, we attach great importance to the IAEA's technical cooperation activities, which can effectively address the needs of many Member States, and Japan will continue to make technical and personnel contributions relating to the utilization of isotopes in medical, industrial, and other areas.

As a member of the RCA, Japan has also been contributing to joint research, development and training on nuclear science and technology for developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region. As the chairing country of the RCA, Japan hosted a National RCA Representative meeting in Tokyo this April.

Japan has also been playing an important role in promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in Asia through the Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia (FNCA). Japan will host the 10th FNCA Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo within this year and will continue to make its utmost efforts.

5. Strengthening of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime

Madame President,

Japan, as the only country to have suffered atomic bombings, has been at the forefront of international efforts toward the elimination of nuclear weapons. Thus, Japan welcomes the momentum that nuclear disarmament has recently gathered and is determined to continuously and strenuously appeal to the world for the elimination of all nuclear weapons. In this regard, the 2010 NPT Review Conference represents an extremely important milestone.

In order to contribute to the success of the Conference, Japan will submit a draft resolution on the elimination of nuclear weapons to the United Nations General Assembly this year, as has been the case for the past 15 years, and will strengthen its efforts to promote the entry-into-force of the CTBT. In addition, Japan strongly hopes that in order to contribute to the Review Conference, the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, which is a Japanese - Australian initiative, will propose concrete and practical recommendations that will contribute to strengthening the NPT regime. The Government of Japan, together with the Government of Australia, will support the work of the Commission.

Needless to say, the strengthening of IAEA safeguards is especially vital for the enhancement of the non-proliferation regime. Since Japan began utilizing nuclear energy exclusively for peaceful purposes, Japan has ensured international confidence in its activities by maintaining a high level of transparency and has been shifting to integrated safeguards. In addition, Japan is currently engaged in consultations with the Agency toward the development of an integrated safeguards state-level approach. Japan is determined to play a leading role globally, by reinforcing its domestic safeguards system in cooperation with the Agency.

Japan believes that the most realistic and effective way to strengthen IAEA safeguards, which represent one of the pillars of non-proliferation, is the universalization of the Additional Protocol. Japan will continue to actively promote this universalization by hosting the Asian Senior-level Talks on Non-Proliferation (ASTOP) meetings and IAEA seminars.

Furthermore, Japan attaches great importance to ensuring and improving the independent analytical capabilities of the Agency. With this in mind, Japan has made a contribution to help strengthen the functions of the IAEA Safeguards Analytical Laboratory.

The DPRK launched a missile on April 5th and conducted a nuclear test on May 25th. In addition, it launched ballistic missiles on July 4th, in contravention of the UN Security Council Resolution 1874, which had just been adopted on June 12th once again forbidding the DPRK from undertaking such activities. The DPRK's nuclear and missile programs pose a grave threat to the peace and security of Northeast Asia and of the international community, and are totally unacceptable. The international community should work together to firmly implement UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874, and should demonstrate clearly that it would never tolerate the possession of nuclear weapons by the DPRK. Japan seeks to normalize its relationship with the DPRK through comprehensively resolving outstanding issues of concern with the DPRK, including the abduction, the nuclear, and the missile issues, and settling the unfortunate past. Japan continues to work actively towards a peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue.

Iran has regrettably continued and expanded its uranium enrichment-related activities in defiance of calls by the international community. In order to remove the concerns of the international community and to gain its confidence, Iran has to fully cooperate with the IAEA and respond sincerely to the requirements set forth by the relevant IAEA Board resolutions and UN Security Council resolutions. Japan will continue to work towards a peaceful and diplomatic resolution of the issue in concert with the international community.

6. Nuclear Safety and Security

Madame President,

Ensuring safety is a prerequisite for promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Japan, as a country prone to earthquakes, has knowledge and experience in ensuring the seismic safety of nuclear power generation facilities. In order to share this know-how, Japan is planning to host an IAEA international workshop in the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa region again this year. In addition, Japan will further contribute to nuclear safety in Asia, by taking a lead in the fields of emergency preparedness and response, education and training, and radioactive waste management in the "Asian Nuclear Safety Network". Furthermore, Japan will continue to actively support the Agency's efforts and activities, including those related to seismic safety, geared towards ensuring nuclear safety, and to this end, will also continue to make extra-budgetary contributions.

The safe transport of radioactive material is another essential aspect of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Based on the right of freedom of navigation under international law, Japan will continue to conduct transport of nuclear materials, while employing the most stringent safety measures in accordance with international standards. Japan will also continue taking part in confidence-building dialogues between shipping and coastal States.

It is absolutely necessary for the international community to stand together and work against the threat posed by nuclear terrorism. The various activities of the IAEA, through its Nuclear Security Fund, are particularly significant in the enhancement of nuclear security in individual countries. Japan will continue providing its assistance to help bolster nuclear security, mainly in Asia, with its contributions to the Nuclear Security Fund. In addition, Japan will cooperate with the countries concerned towards the success of "Global Summit on Nuclear Security," proposed by President Obama next year.

7. Closing Remarks

Madame President,

Finally, the core missions of the IAEA, aimed at enhancing the well being of the global population, will continue to grow further. It is clear that nuclear science and technology are essential for our daily life. We believe that it is important that the Agency continues to contribute to tackling urgent issues on the global agenda, such as energy security, climate change, water issues, poverty eradication and cancer therapy. In order for Member States to unite and tackle various issues, Japan strongly believes that a climate of cooperation among Member States needs to be further cultivated.

Japan will continue to share its knowledge and experience with the Agency to make further contributions toward peace, health and prosperity. Furthermore, I assure you that Japan will continue to play a leading role as a bridge in the international community, with a view to invigorating a deepened sense of cooperation and a "New Vienna Spirit" to be shared by all Member States.

Thank you for your attention.

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