Statement by H.E. Mr. Hitoshi KIMURA, Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, at the 5th Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

Vienna, 17 September 2007


Madam/Mr. President,
I would like to begin by extending my heartfelt congratulations to Her Excellency Dr. Ursula Plassnik and His Excellency Mr. Bruno Stagno Ugarte on their election to the Presidency of this Conference. I would also like to express my gratitude to the Austrian Government for their support in hosting this Conference.

(The significance of the CTBT in the context of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation)

Madam/Mr. President,
Japan supports the CTBT, which underpins the international nuclear non-proliferation regime founded on the NPT, as a practical and concrete measure for realizing a nuclear-weapon free world. Therefore, Japan places the utmost importance on early entry into force of the CTBT. The process towards the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the NPT has started successfully, following the first session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2010 Review Conference, held under the chairmanship of Ambassador Amano of Japan in Vienna this year in April-May. Japan stresses the importance of proactive work towards early entry into force of the CTBT, particularly in the context of strengthening efforts in the lead up to the 2010 Review Conference.

(Recognition of the circumstances surrounding the CTBT)

Madam/Mr. President,
Following many long years of debate and negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament, the UN General Assembly finally adopted the CTBT in September 1996. It is disappointing that, despite the passage of eleven years since the Treaty became open for signature, it has still not entered into force. However, the fact that the number of State Signatories and Ratifying States has reached 177 and 140 respectively can be said to reflect a near universal acceptance in the international community of a ban on nuclear testing as an international norm.

Against this backdrop, the nuclear test proclaimed by North Korea in October last year represented a serious challenge to the CTBT and to the peace and security of the entire international community. Japan reiterates its condemnation of nuclear testing by North Korea and strongly urges North Korea to implement the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718. Recently, Yongbyon nuclear facility has been shut down as one of the Initial Actions agreed at the Six-Party Talks towards the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. These developments as well as the commencement of monitoring and verification activities by IAEA on the facility are welcomed. However, this is only the first step towards full implementation of the Joint Statement of September 2005, and reaching early agreement on the measures to be taken in the "next phase" and taking concrete actions to this end swiftly is critical. Japan would like to emphasize that abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs, as described in the Joint Statement, is absolutely essential. Japan continues to actively work towards a peaceful resolution of nuclear issues within the framework of the Six-Party Talks, with a view to resolving outstanding issues concerned with North Korea, including abductions, nuclear and missile issues, and realizing the normalization of relations with North Korea.

The maintenance of the moratorium on nuclear testing is imperative. As the only nation ever to have suffered nuclear devastation, Japan calls on the international community to ensure that nuclear testing is never carried out by any country ever again.

(Japan's efforts to bring about entry into force of the CTBT)

Madam/Mr. President,
Since Japan presided over the first Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Treaty here in the Hofburg Congress Center eight years ago, Japan actively worked as the first coordinator country to promote the early entry into force of the Treaty. Japan has seized each and every occasion to urge early signature and ratification of the CTBT by the Annex 2 states. Japan once again calls upon all states which have not yet done so, particularly the remaining ten Annex 2 states to sign and ratify the CTBT as soon as possible. In addition to our bilateral efforts to date, before the first NPT Preparatory Committee meeting held this year, Japan strongly encouraged these ten states to sign and ratify the Treaty. Furthermore, in February and July this year, Japan invited representatives of two Annex 2 states, Colombia and Indonesia, who are influential to the ratification process in their countries to visit our CTBT related facilities in Japan and exchange views with us. We encouraged both countries to ratify the Treaty as soon as possible.

In order to maintain the momentum towards the entry into force of the CTBT, enhancing its universality through increased signature and ratification of the Treaty by non-Annex 2 states is very important. With this in mind, this August Japan urged such states to sign and ratify the Treaty. As one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries, we have been carrying out seismological observation training courses through the Japan International Cooperation Agency and, through the participation in this course of technical experts from states who have not yet signed or ratified the CTBT, Japan continues its work to promote a greater understanding of the importance of the Treaty.

Aiming towards the entry into force of the CTBT as soon as possible, Japan believes that this Conference should be held on a biannual basis for maintaining the momentum towards the entry into force of the Treaty.

Madam/Mr. President,
Significant progress has been made by the CTBTO Preparatory Commission towards the establishment of an International Monitoring System (IMS). Already more than 200 stations have been certified. Japan welcomes these developments and commends the efforts of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission and the Provisional Technical Secretariat. North Korea's recent nuclear test reaffirmed the usefulness of the IMS. The IMS can also be valued for the role it plays in maintaining the momentum towards the entry into force of the CTBT.

We are doing our utmost to install and operate relevant IMS facilities in Japan. In February this year, the Okinawa Radionuclide Station was certified. Along with the installation late last year of noble-gas-monitoring equipment at our Radionuclide Monitoring Station in Takasaki, Japan has now completed all necessary steps to commence operation of our radionuclide monitoring stations. We are exerting our best efforts to complete the certification process for the remaining IMS facilities in Japan. Moreover, Japan is working towards the establishment of National Data Centers in Japan which can perform data analysis to detect a nuclear test. These data centers are assisting the CTBTO Preparatory Commission, including through the submission of data. Japan will host a workshop on infrasound technology with the support of the Provisional Technical Secretariat in November this year.

The use of IMS data in tsunami early warning systems also underscores the significance of the CTBT within the international community. Japan welcomes the agreement reached by the CTBTO Preparatory Commission last November on the principles and operating rules for the provision of data to tsunami warning organizations. Japan's Northwest Pacific Tsunami Advisory Center is developing a more sophisticated system for tsunami warning system in the Northwest Pacific region by using the data transmitted from the IDC for testing purposes.


Madam/Mr. President,
A ban on nuclear testing continues to be one of the most important agenda in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. I would like to take this opportunity to emphasize the importance of early entry into force of the CTBT and the willingness of Japan as the only nation to have suffered nuclear devastation to exert its leadership towards the realization of the long-cherished wish of our people and all mankind for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

Thank you.

Back to Index