Statement by Ambassador Mine to introduce the Working Paper
"21 Measures for the 21st Century"
at the NPT Review Conference

May 17th
As delivered during the Plenary Meeting

Mr. President,

I would like to introduce Japanese working paper entitled "21 measures for the 21st Century" which appears in NPT/CONF2005/WP.21. The Main Committee I part of this working paper, namely the section on nuclear disarmament together with the universalization paragraph, has also been submitted as separate working paper co-sponsored by Australia which is contained in NPT/CONF2005/WP34.

In order to strengthen the credibility and functioning of the NPT regime, Japan believes that progress should be made in each one of the three pillars of the NPT, namely nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. To this end, this working paper provides concrete messages in these three aspects that we believe should be issued by the Conference. Japan believes that these measures will contribute to reinforcing the functioning of the NPT regime.

Let me highlight some of the most salient features of our working papers.

First, as for nuclear disarmament, in order to realize a peaceful and safe world free of nuclear weapons, practical nuclear disarmament measures must be implemented incrementally. From this viewpoint, Japan has submitted a resolution "A path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons" to the General Assembly since 1994. The resolutions were adopted with overwhelming support of the International community every year. The section on nuclear disarmament of "21 measure for the 21st century" is based upon this basic position. In the working paper, Japan and Australia propose for the Review Conference to urge those countries whose ratification is required for the CTBT to enter into force to ratify it at the earliest date. We also urge an early commencement of negotiations on the FMCT.

While the efforts of nuclear-weapon States to reduce their nuclear arsenals should be duly appreciated, Japan and Australia propose to call upon all the nuclear-weapon States to take further steps towards nuclear disarmament, including deeper reductions of all types of nuclear weapons.

Second, as for the regional issues, Japan strongly hopes that this Conference will deliver a clear message in this regard, particularly on the DPRK and Iran.

The DPRK's nuclear programs pose a serious challenge to the international nuclear non-proliferation regime as well as a direct threat to the peace and stability of Northeast Asia. The declaration by the DPRK in February this year that it had manufactured and possesses nuclear weapons has generated deep concern in the international community. Japan believes it is of the utmost importance for this Review Conference to urge the DPRK to comply with its obligations under the NPT, and to completely dismantle all of its nuclear programs, including its uranium enrichment programs, subject to credible international verification. It is also indispensable for this Review Conference to urge the DPRK to expeditiously return to the Six-Party Talks without preconditions.

Third, with respect to nuclear non-proliferation, Japan is of the view that the international regime in this domain needs to be urgently strengthened in order to maintain and improve the peace and stability of the international community. We believe that the strengthening of the IAEA safeguards through the universalization of the Additional Protocol and the strengthening of export controls are the most realistic and effective means to achieve this goal. This conviction of my delegation is reflected in our working paper.

Fourth, Peaceful uses of nuclear energy by a non-nuclear-weapon State that carries out nuclear activities with the confidence of the international community by faithfully fulfilling its NPT obligations and by ensuring high transparency of its nuclear activities should not be unduly affected.

Recognizing the importance of nuclear safety, including the safety of spent fuel and radioactive waste management, we propose to support the activities of the IAEA to promote them and also support the universal adherence to relevant international conventions in these fields. We stress the need to further strengthen IAEA's technical cooperation activities and propose to urge IAEA member states to make every effort to contribute to the Agency's Technical Cooperation Fund as well as to honor their obligation to pay their National Participation Costs, on the basis of shared responsibility.

Fifth, Japan takes the issue of withdrawal from the NPT extremely seriously. It should not be tolerated that a State Party withdraws from the Treaty after having acquired or developed nuclear-weapon capabilities under false pretenses. To prevent such cases from occurring, Japan proposes concrete measures be taken to raise the cost of withdrawal.

Finally, I would like to express my sincere wish that we are able to commence our substantive work as soon as possible in the Main Committees so that we can adequately deliberate key issues which our working papers address. I strongly hope that our working papers could meaningfully contribute for the Conference to issue robust and clear messages enabling the NPT regime to be further consolidated.

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