Section 2. Disarmament



1.  Deliberations of Disarmament at Conference on Disarmament, United Nations


(1)  Conference on Disarmament (CD)

The Conference on Disarmament in Geneva (renamed from the Committee on Disarmament in 1984) is the sole multilateral organization to negotiate on specific disarmament measures. In 1986, the Conference on Disarmament held the spring session from February 4 to April 25 and the summer session from June 10 to August 29. As in 1985, the agenda items were the following eight: (a) nuclear test ban, (b) cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament, (c) prevention of nuclear war, including all related matters, (d) chemical weapons, (e) prevention of an arms race in outer space, (f) effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon states against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons, (g) new types of weapons of mass-destruction new system of such weapons; radioactive weapons, and (h) comprehensive program of disarmament.

Ad Hoc committees were established for the agenda (d), (e), (f), (g) and (h), and energetic discussions were undertaken toward concluding a draft convention on the prohibition of chemical weapons. As for the other agenda items, no agreement was reached on the establishment of an Ad Hoc committee, reflecting differences of opinions among Western, Eastern and Nonaligned countries on substantive issues.

Under these circumstances, Japan worked for the start of substantive discussions on the "step-by-step approach" toward nuclear test ban proposed in June 1984. The Japanese initiatives included a proposal made at the Group of Seismic Experts (GSE) in April regarding an exchange of Level II (wave-form) data for the upgrading of verification means and another proposal in June for the utilization of the Conference's plenary and informal meetings.


(2)  41st Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Discussions of disarmament issues at the United Nations are undertaken by the First Committee, according to the decision made at the first Special Session on Disarmament (SSOD) of the United Nations General Assembly that "the First Committee of the General Assembly is to take up only disarmament and related international security questions."

The First Committee of the 41st General Assembly session held discussions on disarmament from October 13 to November 18, just after the U.S.-Soviet summit meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland. While, at the outset, there was a heated exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union on the outcome of the Reykjavik meeting, the Committee emphasized anew the need for the continuation of negotiations between the two countries as well as for the promotion of multilateral disarmament. A total of 77 draft resolutions were submitted, and 67 were adopted in the end, as many as in the previous year.

On nuclear disarmament, it was noteworthy that a draft resolution submitted by Western countries on the nuclear test ban, in whose drafting Japan played a central role, secured the broadest support among related resolutions. Japan contributed to lively and practical discussions at the United Nations, including efforts toward the adoption by consensus of resolutions on verification and compliance, on which Japan has long placed great emphasis as an essential factor for the solution of arms control and disarmament questions.

On the basis of the Japanese proposal at the second Special Session on Disarmament in 1982, participants in the United Nations programme of fellowships on disarmament visited Japan for the second consecutive year, and toured Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki and other cities.


(3)  United Nations Disarmament Commission (UNDC)

In 1986, the United Nations Disarmament Commission met from

May 5 to May 23 and discussed (a) nuclear and conventional disarmament, (b) reductions of military budgets, (c) nuclear capability of South Africa, (d) the role of the United Nations in the field of disarmament, (e) naval arms limitations, and (f) guidelines for confidence-building measures. Substantial progress was made toward the formation of consensus on reduction of military budgets and guidelines for confidence-building measures. On the other hand, discussions on nuclear and conventional disarmament and nuclear capability of South Africa came to a standstill.



2.  Major Disarmament Questions


(1)  Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban (CTB)

The Conference on Disarmament set up an Ad Hoc committee in 1982 and 1983 to consider "verification and compliance" of a nuclear test ban. But the Eastern bloc and Nonaligned countries in 1984 asserted the conference should terminate its study of the verification issue and immediately start discussions on a comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty, while the Western countries insisted thorough discussions should be held on "verification and compliance" questions. The confrontation continued into 1986, and the Ad Hoc committee on this issue has not been established for three years continuously since 1984.

Japan has long regarded the nuclear test ban as the most important issue in nuclear disarmament, and at the Conference on Disarmament in June 1984 proposed a "step-by-step approach" as a realistic means of attaining the nuclear test ban. In April 1986, Japan advanced a proposal concerning an exchange of Level II (wave-form) data at the Group of Seismic Experts (GSE) with the aim of enhancing verification means, thus making significant contributions to the progress of discussions on this problem.


(2)  Chemical Weapons

The Conference on Disarmament has been engaged in the work of drafting a convention on the global and comprehensive prohibition of chemical weapons since 1969. Japan has been making efforts in promoting discussions on the issue, placing the conclusion of the treaty at the top of priorities in non-nuclear disarmament.

Discussions on chemical weapons continued almost uninterruptedly throughout 1986 through informal consultations while the Conference on Disarmament was not in session, showing an upsurge of enthusiasm among participating countries for the prohibition of chemical weapons. Under these circumstances, there was some progress in the issues of verification of the destruction of chemical weapons and their production facilities as well as of the non-production of new chemical weapons.

Japan, as a coordinator on the Western group, endeavored to coordinate Western views on the problems of "non-production," delivered a speech focusing on the quantitative aspects of chemicals to be regulated under a convention on chemical weapons, and also submitted working papers to contribute to the progress of discussions.



3.  U.S.-Soviet Arms Control Negotiations


The current arms control negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union in Geneva got under way in March 1985 and the eight rounds of negotiations were held by June 1987 on three areas of defense and space weapons, intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) and strategic nuclear arms (START).

Although the U.S.-Soviet summit meeting in Geneva in November 1985 produced broad agreement to seek an interim accord on INF negotiations and 50% reductions of strategic nuclear arms in Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START), little substantive progress was seen until the fifth round of negotiations (May 8-June 26) ended in late June 1986.

Nevertheless, negotiations between the two countries became animated again as the sixth round started on September 18 and the U.S. and Soviet foreign ministers held talks in Washington September 19 and 20. During the sixth round, the Soviet Union proposed a preparatory meeting by the two countries' leaders for their summit talks. As the United States accepted the proposal, the U.S.-Soviet summit meeting was held in Reykjavik on October 11 and 12 for in-depth discussions on INF and START. In this process, the two leaders reached latent accords on INF and START. The latent accord on INF provides for reductions to an interim ceiling of 100 warheads on long range INF (LRINF) missiles (Pershing II and Ground Launched Cruise Missile-GLCM-for the United States, SS-20 for the Soviet Union) each in the United States and Soviet Asia, with none in Europe. The latent accord on START calls for 50% reductions by both sides to the ceiling of 1,600 strategic nuclear delivery vehicles (ICBM, SLBM and heavy bombers) and 6,000 warheads carried by these vehicles. But the two countries had a confrontation in the area of defense and space over the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). The Soviet Union reversed its previous position of dealing with INF and defense and space separately, and insisted SDI and all other areas be treated in a package. This kept the two countries from reaching final agreement, and the latent INF and START accords remained just as such.

After the Reykjavik meeting, new proposals based on the latent accords were tabled by the United States on October 28 and by the Soviet Union on November 7, both at the sixth round of talks in Geneva (September 18-November 12). The foreign ministers of both countries also met in Vienna November 5 and 6, but their differences remained unresolved.

However, on February 28, 1987, in the final stage of the seventh-round (January 15-March 6) talks, the Soviet Union again indicated it would be ready to separate the INF issue with other areas and seek the realization of the latent agreements in Reykjavik. The United States, on March 4, also presented a specific draft of an INF treaty for the first time, making progress in the INF negotiations and the holding of a U.S.-Soviet summit meeting more realistic. The seventh round was extended until March 26 on the INF issue, and the two countries held more detailed discussions.

Thus, the possibility of concrete progress in the INF negotiations appears to be increasing after positive attitudes of both the United States and the Soviet Union since February 1987. But many problems still remain to be resolved, including the ultimate elimination of 100 warheads on SS-20 missiles retained in Asia and an agreement on specific verification means.

On short range INF (SRINF), the Soviet Union made a new proposal on the elimination of SRINF in Europe when the foreign ministers of the two countries met in Moscow April 13 through 15.

Since the SRINF issue has a close bearing on the security of the Western world, particularly Western Europe, the United States held close consultations with its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the Ministerial Meeting of the NATO on June 11 and 12 adopted a policy of seeking the global elimination of SRINF of both the United States and the Soviet Union. On June 15, U.S. President Ronald Reagan announced he would propose to the Soviet Union the global elimination of SRINF of both countries.

The INF negotiations have very important implications for the security of Japan as well. Japan has been consistently holding the position that the best solution is the total elimination of INF of both the United States and the Soviet Union on a global scale. Japan has repeatedly emphasized this point on such occasions as Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone's visit to U.S. in May 1987 and the Venice summit meeting of seven major industrial countries in June as well as at a series of bilateral consultations with countries concerned, and has secured the support and understanding of the United States and the West European countries. Since the Soviet Union has not as yet accepted the global elimination of SS-20 missiles, it is important for Japan to continue to press the Soviet Union for the total elimination of SS-20s.



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