Statement by H.E. Masayoshi Hamada,
Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
to the Conference on Disarmament
Geneva, 13 March 2007
Just as Geneva is showing signs of spring breaking through, so too can we perceive the Conference on Disarmament finally showing signs of commencing tangible work.
The efforts by the international community on disarmament and non-proliferation are constantly being confronted with serious challenges posed by regional proliferation and the danger of non-state actors acquiring nuclear materials. We must, however, also take note of the disarmament and non-proliferation efforts that are utilizing the United Nations and regional frameworks.
Since this year will witness the start of the review process for the 2010 NPT Review Conference, 2007 will be an auspicious year for the NPT, which is the cornerstone of the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. The NPT is one of the important frameworks for international peace and security. Although the NPT is currently facing a number of serious crises, there is no substitute for it and our mission is to maintain and strengthen the Treaty. It was reassuring, therefore, that during the NPT seminar hosted by Japan in February this year the importance of maintaining the reliability of the NPT was unanimously recognized by the participants. As the country which puts up the chair-designate for the first NPT preparatory committee to be held in April and May this year, Japan intends to energetically carry out its role as president in order to accomplish constructive discussions for the maintenance and strengthening of the NPT.
In addition to last year's focused deliberations, Japan welcomes the beneficial organizational framework introduced into the CD through this year's Six President's initiative, and the concrete and active discussions that have taken place under that framework. On the other hand, for the CD to fully restore its role as "the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum" it is imperative that the CD member states expend greater efforts to begin negotiations on a disarmament treaty.
The organizational framework, introduced by the Six Presidents, has made discussions on the substance of every agenda item possible via the appointment of a coordinator for each specific issue over the course of this year. It is our belief that the current framework is well balanced and comprehensive. Additionally, we are aware that to date substantive discussions have been carried out according to the degree of maturity of each agenda item. Therefore negotiations could be commenced on a fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT), which all countries, including the nuclear-weapon States, have not expressed a negative opinion with regard to its maturity. The CD must restore its primary role by taking the pragmatic approach of agreeing to what can be agreed upon.
Through prohibiting the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other explosive devices, an FMCT will not only limit the production of nuclear weapons by the nuclear weapon States, but also prevent the appearance of new nuclear-weapon States. From the twin perspectives of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation it will become an important milestone. Furthermore, this Treaty will significantly contribute to the stability of the international security environment. The early conclusion of negotiations itself of an FMCT will be significant and prompt action is required by the Conference on Disarmament in this regard.
The focused structured deliberations on an FMCT in May last year, as well as the informal meetings in February this year and last week were productive and meaningful. Moreover, the proposed draft treaty and mandate circulated by the United States last year has already shown its potential as a good basis for deliberations and already extensive discussions have taken place on this proposal. This has once again illustrated the fact that FMCT has reached the stage for negotiations. Japan hopes that the discussions of the first part of this year's CD session can be used to launch negotiations in the second, and we are committed to actively contributing therein.
Japan is convinced that the Conference on Disarmament should continue deepening its deliberations on the other agenda items -nuclear disarmament, prevention of an arms race in outer-space (PAROS), and negative security assurances (NSA). Japan is prepared to actively participate in discussions on any of those items.
In relation to nuclear disarmament, in addition to FMCT, the prompt entry into force of the CTBT is critical. Japan once again calls on the remaining 10 countries whose ratification is necessary for the entry into force of the CTBT to sign and ratify the Treaty at the earliest possible date. Japan has been actively pursuing the prompt ratification of the CTBT by these countries through bilateral talks on disarmament and non-proliferation. In this connection, Japan reiterates its condemnation of the nuclear test by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and emphasizes that a nuclear armed DPRK cannot be tolerated. Although the agreement at the Six Party Talks in February is progress towards the nuclear abandonment by the DPRK, efforts for the full implementation of the Joint Statement in September 2005 should be continued. The 5th Conference on the Facilitating Entry into Force of the CTBT will be held in September this year and Japan aims to heighten the momentum towards the prompt entry into force in the lead up to and within this Conference.
While Japan commends the nuclear disarmament efforts of the United States and the Russian Federation based on the steady implementation of the Moscow Treaty, we encourage both countries to make further reductions beyond those provided for in that Treaty. Likewise, we call on the other nuclear weapon States to also make further efforts towards nuclear disarmament.
Turning our attention now to PAROS; since the advent of the space age outer-space has increasingly come to play a major role in our daily lives. Satellites have become indispensable to humanity, through their use for communication, navigation, mapping and many other beneficial functions. Consequently, it is vital that transparent explanations are provided on activities that can adversely impact the safe operation of space objects including satellites.
Finally allow me to conclude by saying that this year the CD is off to a promising start. The CD, nonetheless, needs to advance its recent good progress one step further. This, of course, is reliant on the creativity, flexibility and the concrete actions of the CD member states. For the complete rejuvenation of the CD, Japan is determined to continue its efforts in order to meet the hopes and expectations of the international community.
Thank you, Mr. President.
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