Statement by H.E. Mr. Banri KAIEDA,
Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy
Head of Delegation of Japan
at the 54th General Conference of the IAEA
20 September 2010


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

On behalf of the Government of Japan, I would like to congratulate you, Mr. President, on your election as President of the 54th General Conference of the IAEA. I would also like to welcome the Kingdom of Swasiland as a new member. In addition, I extend to Mr. Amano present at this Conference for the first time since his assumption of office as Director General of the IAEA, Japan's appreciation of the Agency's activities he has led up to date as well as wishes for success in your endeavors further down the road.

Mr. President,

This year the international community has embarked on a new stage of critical importance towards the realization of a "world without nuclear weapons." In May the NPT Review Conference agreed on the "Action Plan," which was incorporated into the Final Document adopted by it. It can be said that this agreement presented us all with an opportunity to restart nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation efforts based on the spirit of cooperative multilateralism. Japan believes that all the Member States of the Agency should now make combined efforts for steady implementation of the "Action Plan" in concert with the Agency.

Japan, in its own endeavor, is determined to remain committed to its "Three Non-Nuclear Principles" and continue to act at the forefront of efforts of the international community towards the elimination of nuclear weapons as the only country that has ever suffered atomic bombings. In this connection, taking the opportunity of the United Nations General Assembly convened in New York this week, Japan and Australia will co-host a Foreign Ministers' meeting on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, with a view to launching a new group of like-minded countries and thus taking the lead of international efforts in this regard.

Japan welcomed the attendance by the Director General Amano at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony and the Nagasaki Peace Ceremony last month, and regards it as a highly important step forward to contribute to the growth of the momentum being built towards a "world without nuclear weapons." We are most looking forward to his follow-up efforts, as he indicated in a symposium in Nagasaki that the Agency would be able to contribute to nuclear disarmament in its implementing stages.

Mr. President,

The IAEA is playing a key role not only in maintaining and strengthening nuclear non-proliferation regime but also in promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy by enhancing nuclear safety and security as well as technical cooperation as underscored by the NPT Review Conference, and thus is one of the most important international organizations for the peace and prosperity of humanity.

Japan, as a member of the Board of Governors since the foundation of the Agency, has been working jointly with the Agency for promotion of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, thus making significant contributions to the Agency's activities. Japan will make further use of the knowledge and experience that it has acquired for the civilian use of nuclear energy as well as strengthening, and improving the efficiency of, the safeguards system, with a view to assisting developing countries through the Agency's technical cooperation.

In addition, Japan will continue to support further development and reinforcement of the IAEA in concert with other Member States so that the Agency, whose importance to the international community continues to grow, can fully discharge its responsibilities.

Mr. President,

The IAEA has been playing an essential role in the social and economic development of the world by applying the nuclear science and technology. Japan highly appreciates such a role of the Agency.

The Government of Japan made, in June of this year, a cabinet decision on "The New Growth Strategy: Blueprint for Revitalizing Japan". As one of the main pillars of this strategy, Japan will actively promote "green innovation", which means innovation in the environment and energy sectors, to create a low-carbon society in Japan, convinced that nuclear power is a key energy for fulfilling stable supply, environmental compatibility and economic efficiency at the same time and thus fueling this innovation.

Needless to say, in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy it is necessary to give due consideration to "3S", namely nuclear non-proliferation /safeguards, safety and security. Japan will continue to attach importance to ensuring these "3S" in assisting countries in their efforts to develop infrastructure for introducing nuclear power plants.

As the nuclear energy demand grows further mainly in the regions of Asia and the Middle East, more and more importance should be attached to the role of the Agency in areas such as safety design evaluation, integrated nuclear infrastructure review and assistance in the development of relevant domestic legislation and training for experts for introducing new nuclear power plants. Japan will promote further utilization of the IAEA expertise in the international development of Japan's nuclear cooperation.

In April of this year in Washington, D.C., the Nuclear Security Summit meeting was held successfully. Japan greatly welcomes this achievement and is now preparing for establishment of "Integrated Comprehensive Support Center for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Security for Asia" to follow up on its announcement in that Summit meeting. Through activities of this Center, Japan, in cooperation with the Agency, will contribute to the needs such as human resource development for strengthening nuclear security mainly in Asian countries.

In addition, Japan will promote the international sharing of its own knowledge and experience on seismic safety of nuclear power generation facilities as an earthquake-prone country, as well as contributing to developing the IAEA safety standards documents. In the areas of emergency preparedness and response including disaster prevention, radioactive waste management and others, Japan will actively support the Agency's works through activities of the "Asian Nuclear Safety Network" by continuing extra-budgetary contributions to them. Moreover, Japan decided to join "Response Assistance Network (RANET)" of the IAEA, and will promote the use of its own experts' knowledge and experience in cases of nuclear accident.

The safe transport of radioactive materials is another essential aspect of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Based on the principle 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 to take part in confidence-building dialogues between shipping and coastal countries.

Mr. President,

Japan firmly believes that the technical cooperation should continue to be one of the core missions of the IAEA. Japan, taking advantage of its own long history and achievements that it has seen in the application of radiation technology such as medical application including cancer therapy will continue to attach importance to technical cooperation activities for which there are needs of many Member States of the Agency, and also to make technical and personnel contributions relating to the utilization of radiation in medical, industrial and other areas. In this connection, experts from Japan will attend, and take the lead of discussions in, Scientific Forum held in parallel with the General Conference this week.

Japan is also working for the steady promotion of nuclear fuel cycle, radioactive waste management and the development of fast breeder reactor cycle technology. Japan welcomes the progress made in works of GIF or "Generation IV International Forum", INPRO or "International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles", and others.

The worrisome reality is, however, the shortage of human resources for underpinning the peaceful uses of nuclear energy whether in developed or developing countries. Japan, while attaching importance to the Agency's efforts for the development of such human resources, will contribute to those efforts, being more mindful of the utilization of its own experts in the Agency.

In regard to the issue of nuclear fuel supply assurance, Japan will continue to engage in discussions for the development of an international framework on its mechanism and the treatment of spent nuclear fuel. In this Conference convened four years ago, Japan proposed the establishment of an "IAEA Standby Arrangements System for Nuclear Fuel Supply," aimed at contributing to dispelling uncertainties on fuel supply and preventing market disturbance by registering the supply capacity of each Member State. Given that the range of different opinions remains among the Member States of the Agency, Japan stresses the importance that groundwork has to be done first in order to overcome such reality and enable Member States to move substantive discussions on this issue forward.

Mr. President,

Needless to say, strengthening, and improving the efficiency of, the IAEA safeguards is especially vital for the enhancement of the non-proliferation regime. Japan believes that the most realistic and effective way to strengthen the IAEA safeguards is the universalization of the Additional Protocol which more than one hundred states have concluded with the Agency. Japan will further contribute to universalization of the Additional Protocol through activities such as hosting ASTOP or "the Asian Senior-level Talks on Non-Proliferation" meetings and making contributions to the Agency's seminars.

In addition, Japan will continue to attach importance to improving the independent analytical capabilities of the Agency by means of the modernization of the IAEA Safeguards Analytical Laboratory.

Furthermore, Japan will continue to make the best efforts for the good-faith implementation of the IAEA safeguards obligations and ensure international confidence in further promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Along with such efforts, Japan is determined to take the leading role in improving the efficiency of the IAEA safeguards without compromising its effectiveness, through making steady efforts for shifting to a State-level integrated safeguards approach.

Mr. President,

North Korea's nuclear issue remains to be posing a grave threat to the peace and security of East Asia and the international community as a whole, as well as a serious challenge to the NPT regime. Regarding the Iranian nuclear issue, it is imminent and indispensable that Iran should remove the concerns and gain confidence of the international community. Japan will continue to act, including the steady implementation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, towards settlement of these nuclear issues in concert with the international community.

Mr. President,

Today, the IAEA is expected to fully carry out its core missions under the Statute, while facing a pile of important challenges vis-á-vis both national security for each country and human security for each living person.

As I stated earlier, Japan will make further contributions to the Agency's activities by utilizing its knowledge and experience on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy under international confidence in non-proliferation. On this occasion, Japan calls upon all the Member States of the Agency to give the highest priority to maximizing common interest and address the challenges through constructive cooperation.

Thank you for your attention.

Back to Index