Remarks by H.E. Mr. Shintaro ITO, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, at the Third CTBT Ministerial Meeting (Sept. 20, 2006)

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As one of the host countries of today's meeting, I would like to extend my heartfelt welcome to the Foreign Ministers and other senior officials, who have gathered here today to show their strong commitment and support to the CTBT. Before the introduction of the message from UN Secretary General by Mr. Tanaka, Under-Secretary-General of the UN, I would like to say a few words on behalf of the Government of Japan.

It is most regrettable that we have to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Treaty's opening for signature without its entry into force. However, the steady increase in ratifiers and signatories as of today demonstrates strong support of the CTBT by the international community. The progress in the development of the verification system of CTBTO is also a reflection of such international support.

It is fair to say that as a result of our achievement, the political cost of carrying out a nuclear test explosion is becoming increasingly high and the deterrent effects against nuclear tests are gaining more strength.

Last year, despite the "two failures" at both the NPT Review Conference and the UN Summit, the international community successfully sent two strong messages urging those States that have not signed and ratified the Treaty to do so as soon as possible. One is the declaration adopted at the Fourth Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT. The other is the UN General Assembly resolution entitled " Renewed Determination towards the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons." This resolution, submitted by Japan, was adopted by an overwhelming majority of Member States. Japan is the only country that has suffered the devastation of atomic bombings. Through the horrific experiences in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japanese people learn firsthand that the use of nuclear weapons causes incomparable human suffering. Thus, Japan once again wishes to call upon those states to heed such international voices and take immediate action to sign and ratify the Treaty.

Japan is taking every diplomatic opportunity to facilitate the entry into force of the Treaty. For example, since the beginning of this year, we urged India, Pakistan, Israel and others to ratify the Treaty at the earliest possible date during bilateral consultations. Japan has provided training courses for global seismological observation to 12 developing countries in order to improve their verification capacity. We also invited officials of the Government of Viet Nam to study Japan's CTBT national operation system. We are pleased that such efforts contributed to ratification by Viet Nam in March of this year.

Let me conclude by expressing again the determination of my government to continue working with the international community to achieve the earliest possible entry into force of the Treaty.

Thank you.

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