Speech by Mr. Toshimitsu Motegi,
Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan
at the Munich Conference on Security Policy
"The Global Challenge of International Terrorism"

February 8, 2003

1. Introduction

Thank you very much for your kind introduction, Dr Teltchik. Fellow presenters, attending ministers, ambassadors, members of parliaments, ladies and gentlemen.

I am greatly honored to be the first Japanese political representative to speak at this Munich Conference on Security Policy. The time when this conference is held every year is also the time when the budget for the next fiscal year is being deliberated in Japan's Diet, therefore Japan's political leaders could not participate in the past. I hope that, following my attendance this time, Japan's participation in this conference at a political level will become active from now on.

I decided to visit Europe at this important time on the Japanese political calendar because the global security order is entering a very critical phase, primarily because of the problems of Iraq and North Korea. Prior to this meeting, I held talks in Vienna with IAEA Director-General Mohamed El Baradei and UNMOVIC Executive Chairman Hans Blix and also visited France, the U.K., and Germany. The discussions centered on the Iraq problem.

The Iraq problem may have started with a classic war of invasion. However, when it was linked with the "new threats" such as proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and terrorism, it came to represent the challenges facing the global security order in the post-cold-war era. The problem of North Korea, a country located next to us, has its roots in the cold-war legacy of a divided state, but it does have a similar character in posing the threat of WMDs proliferation.

I understand that this conference has engaged in extensive discussions on the evolution of the security environment in the post-cold-war era. The threats that we are facing today are diversifying and becoming increasingly global in character. The challenge for us is to develop globally comprehensive approaches against this diversifying threat. Unfortunately, the Iraq and North Korea problems will probably not be the last challenges to the international community. However, whether we are able to build an effective mechanism of international cooperation to deal with these problems will be a touchstone for the future of the global security.

From these perspectives, I would like today to talk about how we can proceed with the international cooperation towards the future peace and stability of the international community, with a focus on the "The Global Challenge of International Terrorism." I also would like to touch upon the problems of Iraq and North Korea, as the most imminent problems facing the international community today.

2. International Terrorism and Japan's Response

The terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001, revealed, in the most striking manner, that non-state entities such as terrorists can threat the security of a state. The international community including Islamic countries rallied around the United States in the fight against the Al-Qaeda. It has achieved a fair degree of success, including the military campaign in Afghanistan. However, the threat of terrorism remains serious, as shown by the terrorist incidents last year on the island of Bali and in Moscow. The fight against international terrorism still continues, and it will be extremely important to maintain international solidarity into the future as well.

Japan places importance on the following three points in the global fight against terrorism: firstly, to deny terrorist groups safe havens, secondly, to deny terrorist groups the means to conduct terrorism, and thirdly, to overcome our vulnerabilities against terrorism. In order to achieve these objectives, we have to build cooperative relations and networks among countries in a wide range of areas, including not only military organizations but also law enforcement agencies and intelligence organizations. The effort of capacity building to strengthen counter-terrorism measures by developing countries is also vital. In this respect, Japan attaches particular importance on the Asian region and is collaborating with the Asian countries. For example, Japan has held a working-level ASEAN Regional Forum workshop and seminars for officials of law enforcement agency in Asian countries.

3. The Problem of Iraq's Development of Weapons of Mass Destruction

More than a decade has passed since the Gulf War, an event that marked the changes in the security environment after the cold war. However, Iraq has continued to be a threat to the international community. The problem of Iraq's development of WMDs has been recognized once again as a serious threat to the international community, together with the recognition of the heightened risk of terrorists' acquiring WMDs.

Resolution of Iraq problem is crucially important to the peace and stability of the Gulf region and the Middle East as a whole, and Japan has a keen interest in it. I believe that the basic structure of the problem is "the international community" on one hand and "an Iraq with WMDs" on the other. Under this basic understanding, we should search for a solution through international cooperation.

The root of the problem lies in Iraq's non-compliance with the U.N. Security Council Resolutions concerning the problem of WMDs. In this regard, Iraq's substantive cooperation with the inspections has been inadequate.

Security Council's debate on the Iraq problem is reaching a critical phase. Japan appreciates the comprehensive presentation by US Secretary of State Colin L. Powell on February 5th. Japan will cooperate and act even more closely with the international community, and strongly calls upon Iraq, to proactively address the unsolved issues, and comply with all relevant Security Council resolutions.

4. North Korea Problem

The problem of the Korean Peninsula poses a threat to the peace and stability of the Northeast Asia, including neighboring Japan and South Korea, and in turn, of the international community as a whole. Last September Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited Pyongyang and held talks with Kim Jong Il, the chairman of North Korea's National Defense Commission. The two leaders signed the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration, and there was some progress toward the solution of the problems between Japan and North Korea.

After that, however, the problem of North Korea's nuclear development, particularly its enriched uranium program, again emerged as a serious concern. Despite unanimous calls by the international community, since December 20 North Korea has successively lifted its freeze on nuclear-related facilities which was based on the 1994 Agreed Framework. On January 10 it announced its withdrawal from the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Depending on further developments, this matter could be reported by the IAEA to the U.N. Security Council.

It appears that North Korea is adopting a brinkmanship, demanding negotiations with the United States and the conclusion of a non-aggression pact, in order to maintain the Kim regime. I believe, however, that the problem of North Korea is not a problem between the United States and North Korea but a problem of the international community as a whole. Therefore, the international community should make coordinated response to North Korea. Japan is intensifying its approach to North Korea, while maintaining close consultations with Republic of Korea and the United States, and in cooperation with such countries as Russia and China. We are prepared to make further efforts toward a peaceful solution by making North Korea understand the situation seriously and letting it take prompt and concrete actions to dismantle its nuclear weapons development program.

For the representatives of European countries gathered here, I would like to emphasize that the problem of North Korea is not a regional problem of Far East Asia. It is a problem of the WMDs proliferation and therefore a problem of the international community as a whole.

5. Transatlantic Relations

It is clear from what I said that security of all the countries and regions is now indivisible. Any country or region cannot attain its security on its own in the face of new threats such as terrorism and proliferation of WMDs. New threats demand new approaches to deal with. The most successful case of such approaches is the Operation Enduring Freedom, in which more than seventy countries participated under the U.S. leadership.

However, the new approach to security does not reduce the significance of the alliances which ensured our security since the Second World War. Redefinition, development and reinforcement of traditional alliances in accordance with the requirement of the era are essential conditions for securing the peace and stability of the international community into the future. For example, Japan-U.S. Alliance in the post-cold-war Asia-Pacific region is gradually assuming the role of a "common property" for securing the peace and stability of the region. Japan and the U.S. continuously strive to improve its reliability to this end.

The role of the Trans-Atlantic Alliance that has ensured the peace in Europe since the Second World War is also transforming. Japan strongly hopes that the enlargement and strengthened functions of NATO will enable this alliance to enhance its contribution to the security of the whole European region and to continue to be one of the important pillars to support the peace and stability of the international community, which now became indivisible.

It is not easy to achieve national consensus to maintain and strengthen these alliances in the current society of diverse public opinion. It certainly requires a strong political will. Such a political will should never be shaken in the face of the important challenges such as Iraq and North Korea.

6. Conclusion

In order to deal with the diversifying threat, each country has to fulfill its responsibilities as a member of the international community, and the international community has to keep solidarity and to tackle resolutely the problems of terrorism and WMDs. The degree of unity shown by the international community following the September 11 terrorist attacks gives us confidence for the future. I sincerely hope that this conference would serve as a milestone to renew our determination to maintain this unity.

Thank you very much for your attention.

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