Statement by H.E. Mr. Katsuya Okada, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
at the 6th Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT
September 24, 2009
Co-Chairs and dear participants,
On behalf of the Japanese Government, I would first like to congratulate the French Foreign Minister Dr. Bernard Kouchner and Moroccan Foreign Minister Dr. Taib Fassi Fihri on their appointment as Chairs for this Conference.
Since the adoption of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty (CTBT), Japan has consistently appealed for the early entry into force of the CTBT through the medium of General Assembly resolutions on the elimination of nuclear weapons, and has resolutely engaged in encouraging states that have not signed or ratified the Treaty to do so at the earliest possible date. I deeply regret that the CTBT has not yet entered into force. However, this year's conference, which is being held in the middle of a positive momentum that is being stronger than ever in nuclear disarmament, has particular significance. Japan also highly welcomes the return of the United States after their ten year absence and I am convinced that through this conference we can send a strong message towards the entry into force of the Treaty.
(Relevance of CTBT and Japan's Position)
Ten years have passed since Japan chaired the first Article XIV Conference. Today, it is no understatement to say that the prohibition of nuclear tests has become a universal value. A nuclear test ban can impede the development of nuclear weapons and thereby prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Moreover, the CTBT is an essential pillar that supports the NPT regime and a realistic and practical approach to realize a "world without nuclear weapons".
At this opportunity, I would like to call upon leaders of the nine Annex 2 states that have yet to ratify the CTBT to act decisively to sign and ratify the CTBT at the earliest possible date. I also call upon all states to continue their adherence to nuclear-test moratorium.
(Nuclear test conducted by the DPRK)
Under these circumstances, the DPRK nevertheless conducted a nuclear test in May this year. This went against the global public opinion calling for a "world without nuclear weapons." Japan considers the DPRK's nuclear test as a grave threat to international peace and security and again, strongly condemns the DPRK for its act. Security Council resolution 1874 calls upon the DPRK to join the CTBT at the earliest date and we strongly urge the DPRK to comply with Security Council resolutions, and to fully implement the agreements reached at the Six Party Talks.
The DPRK's nuclear test can only confirm the urgent need for the Treaty to enter into force.
(Next task: Japan's initiative to promote the entry into force)
Japan highly welcomes the positive attitude towards CTBT ratification demonstrated by President Obama of the United States.
Today I would like to introduce "Japan's initiative to promote the entry into force of the CTBT" in order to make this momentum sustainable.
First, Japan will intensify its efforts to engage with Annex 2 states that have not yet signed or ratified the Treaty by taking every opportunity, including meetings between heads of states. In particular, in view of the 2010 NPT Review Conference, we plan to send special high level envoys to persuade these states that have not ratified to do so at the earliest possible date. In this context, I would like to propose that the French and Moroccan Foreign Ministers acting as Co-Chairs of this conference actively engage with non-signatories and states that are yet to ratify the CTBT, to ensure that the joint message to be issued by the conference is clearly communicated to these countries.
Second, Japan promises to continue its cooperation with the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) from both the financial and technical point of view. The verification system is a life-line and in anticipation of the CTBT's entry into force, we must accelerate our efforts to advance the establishment of the International Monitoring System (IMS).
Third, Japan will cooperate with states concerned in the area of maintenance of IMS facilities by enhancing its current invitation programme for training seismological experts to monitor nuclear tests. Japan will also encourage those states that have not yet installed IMS stations under the Treaty to do so as soon as possible.
To conclude, Japan will strengthen its close cooperation with the international community towards the early entry into force of the CTBT. What is now required is for the international community as a whole to consolidate its efforts in advancing the global momentum towards the entry into force of the CTBT. And I hereby reiterate that Japan will take the lead in this endeavour.
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