Japan's Recent Efforts and Contributions on Disarmament and Non-proliferation

May 2003

1. International Conference on Wider Adherence to Strengthened IAEA Safeguards

(1) On 9-10 December 2002, in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Japan hosted the International Conference on Wider Adherence to Strengthened IAEA Safeguards. A total of 82 participants representing 36 IAEA member states attended this Conference, expressing the will to strengthen IAEA safeguards. The participants consisted of Director-General-level representatives and observers from ministries and agencies responsible for nuclear nonproliferation and peaceful use of nuclear energy.

(2) The main focus of this Conference was to promote and smoothen the conclusion of the additional protocol by IAEA member states. Japan has made financial and personnel contribution to series of regional seminars and symposia held with the goal of universalization of the additional protocol. This Conference is considered to consolidate the results of those seminars and symposia. The following are some specific results of the Conference: (a) the Chairman's Summary was issued with the general consensus of participants; (b) all participants were able to share the contents discussed at the regional seminars; (c) a concrete message was sent expecting the early ratification of the additional protocol by the nuclear weapon states (excluding China, which has already concluded the additional protocol) and the countries of the EU; (d) the establishment of the Friends of the Additional Protocol was proposed.

2. Promotion of Cooperation programs for Dismantlement of Nuclear Submarines in Far East Russia ("Star of Hope" program)

(1) Since the establishment of the Japan-Russia Committee on Cooperation to Assist the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in 1993, Japan has been carrying out cooperation projects, such as construction of a low level liquid radioactive waste treatment plant. During the visit of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to Russia in January 2003, Japan and Russia announced the reinforcement of the implementation system for the denuclearization program, and the early commencement of the cooperation program for the dismantlement of nuclear submarines in Far East, which is a matter of concern for both Japan and Russia.

(2) In response to this announcement in February 2003, the Governing Council, which is the decision-making body of the Japan-Russia Committee was convened. The council determined the details of concrete measures to strengthen the implementation system, and decision was made to implement the project on the dismantlement of a Victor III-class nuclear submarine. This Japan-Russia cooperation program for the dismantlement of nuclear submarines is considered as one of the measures designed to be a part of the G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, agreed on at the G8 Kananaskis Summit in 2002.

(3) Japan is willing to hold the governing council frequently with Russia, aiming to initiate the dismantlement project during the first half of 2003 by concluding an implementing arrangement concerning the dismantling of a Victor III-class nuclear submarine as soon as possible.

3. Efforts Concerning Small Arms and Light Weapons

The first biennial meeting of states will be held in July 2003 to consider implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (adopted in 2001 by the United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects). Japan will be appointed to chair this meeting (chair designate: Ambassador Kuniko Inoguchi, Permanent Representative of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament). With an eye toward this meeting, in order to strengthen efforts aimed at the issue of small arms in the Asia Pacific region, a Pacific Islands Countries Regional Seminar on Small Arms and Light Weapons was held in Tokyo in January, and the Regional Seminar on Small Arms and Light Weapons in Indonesia was held in February.

4. Ceremony Marking the Completion of Destruction of Anti-Personnel Landmine Stockpiles

(1) On 8 February, Japan completed the destruction of stockpiles of anti-personnel landmines (about one million mines) required under the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (the Ottawa Convention). A ceremony was held the same day in Shinasahi-cho, Shiga Prefecture. The ceremony was hosted jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Self Defense Agency, and attended by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, as well as Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Tetsuro Yano and Ambassador Inoguchi.

(2) The Ottawa Convention requires each state party to destroy its stockpile of anti-personnel landmines within four years from it going into effect. Japan's deadline for destruction was 28 February 2003.

5. Efforts Concerning Nonproliferation

Under the firm understanding that the regional non-proliferation efforts is indispensable for tackling the issue of non-proliferation in an international sphere, Japan puts an emphasis on non-proliferation in South-East Asia and Central Asia. As a part of its effort to this end, Japan hosted NIS (Newly Independent States) Export Control Seminar (21 January-7 February) and the Asian Export Control Seminar (25-27 February).

6. Activity Regarding the Cut-off Treaty

(1) Japan attaches importance to the commencement of negotiations on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT), and has strongly promoted the early commencement of negotiations on the treaty and its conclusion.

(2) Ambassador Inoguchi gave a speech focusing on the FMCT at the Conference on Disarmament on 20 February. In her speech, she pointed out that managing fissile material that has not been placed under IAEA safeguards is a pressing task for the sake of maintaining the peace and security of the international community.

(3) In addition, on 28 March, Japan co-hosted a workshop in Geneva on "Promoting Verification in Multilateral Arms Control Treaties" with Australia and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR). Approximately 120 people attended the workshop, including government officials (including those from China and Pakistan, which had not attended the FMCT Seminar hosted by Japan in May 2001), representatives of relevant international organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). At the workshop, the issues of verification, which is the extremely important theme in the arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation treaties were discussed in multifaceted dimensions.

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