Speech by Mr. Iwaya, the Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan on the occasion of the ITER Agreement Signature Ceremony
(21st Nov. 2006)


Let me begin by expressing my gratitude to S.E.M. (Son Excellence Monsieur) Chirac for kindly offering the Palais de l'Elysee for the historical ITER Agreement signature ceremony.

I also sincerely thank H.E. (His Excellency) Mr. Barroso, President of the European Commission, and Mr. Potocnik, Commissioner for Science and Research for hosting today's ceremony.

Owing to your efforts, we can have such an excellent ceremony which is suitable for an important step in the history of the ITER project.

It is my great pleasure that the seven Parties meet here at the venerable Palais de l'Elysee today and hold the ITER Agreement signature ceremony, which is a great step toward the realization of fusion energy.

Japan has been actively participating in the ITER Project and playing a vital role in the project in collaboration with other parties ever since its implementation was agreed upon in 1985. However, the way so far has not always been easy. As you know, Japan decided to concede the ITER site to the EU at the ITER Ministerial Meeting in Moscow last year from the perspective of early initiation of the Project and maintaining the international collaboration framework. Although this was really a very significant and difficult decision for Japan, we continued demonstrating strong commitment to the ITER Project after the ITER site was settled in the EU.

As an example of our commitment toward the future, let me point out that Japan will take charge of producing some of the most difficult ITER components, such as central solenoid coils. I think you can understand that Japan makes a point of this project and how we have been promoting it so eagerly and how we attach serious importance to today's signature. Here I am profoundly moved to observe the signature ceremony and I would like to convey again our sincerest tribute to the fruitful cooperation among the parties concerned on the occasion of the signature ceremony of the ITER Agreement and its related agreements.

The ITER project is an unprecedented, unique global-scale project in the sense that this international organization is established for implementing the international scientific project. I was informed that each party has overcome many difficulties which arose in preparing the ITER agreement through the spirit of collaboration and compromise with the common purpose of solving the global energy problem. I pay homage to all the people devoted to the negotiations for the ITER Agreement.

The successful promotion of the ITER project would not be possible without the cooperation of EURATOM as Host Party and France as Host State. I hear both EURATOM and France have already been making various efforts to launch the ITER Project smoothly. I am convinced that they will fulfill their responsibilities as Host Party and Host State in implementing the ITER Project. I realize this project has great importance not only in the relations between Japan and the EU, but also between Japan and France, as well as among the seven-party international collaboration.

The Government of Japan is proud to be starting the ITER Project with six partners assembled here today under the leadership of Mr. Ikeda, the Director General Nominee, and is confident the ITER Project will succeed with the cooperation of all the people concerned. We realize that it is our responsibility to the next generation to develop a new energy source for mankind to attain sustainable growth. Based on this viewpoint, Japan will dedicate itself to the realization of fusion energy by the Broader Approach Activities conducted under the collaboration of Japan and EURATOM.

I would like to congratulate all of you on today's occasion.

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