Opening Speech by Mr. Hitoshi KIMURA, Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan, at the 5th Asian Senior-level Talks on Non-proliferation
April 25, 2008
I am pleased to welcome all of you to Japan in its best season. Today, we are gathering for the 5th Asian Senior-level Talks on Non-proliferation, ASTOP-V. The purpose of this meeting is to strengthen the non-proliferation efforts in Asia. I am especially glad to note that this important dialogue has become a well-known event in the past five years.
This year, it is particularly important for Japan to listen to views and interests of Asian countries in the area of non-proliferation. As the chair of G8, Japan will lead the discussion with other G8 members to explore the ways to further enhance the global non-proliferation efforts. We intend to reflect the outcome of today’s meeting in the forthcoming G8 process.
The international community, including this region, has been exposed to serious challenges to non-proliferation. The nuclear and missile issues of North Korea present a real threat to peace and security, not only in East Asia but also to the entire international community. Japan supports and actively participates in the Six-Party Talks. The Iranian nuclear issue also gives serious concern to the international community. Japan appreciates the efforts of the UN Security Council in this regard, and faithfully implements all the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council.
Today, the US government issued a statement on the matter of proliferation concern in Syria. The international community must remain vigilant to the challenges we face.
The international community has been reinforcing its tools to address the non-proliferation challenges. Japan is willing to work together with the Asian countries to strengthen such efforts. In this context, I should also like to remind you of the PSI Maritime Interdiction Exercise "Pacific Shield 07" Japan hosted last year, and to take this opportunity to renew our thanks to the participants.
You have a full day of intensive work ahead of you. I hope this ASTOP meeting will be a valuable opportunity to have in-depth discussions and to share your experience in tackling our huge common challenges.
Thank you very much. I am looking forward to hearing the result from you at the reception this evening.
Back to Index