Statement by Ambassador Yukio Takasu
Representative of Japan
at subsidiary body of Main Committee II of the 2005 Review Conference
of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)
Delivered on 20 May 2005
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I would like to present Japan's views on the regional issues.
Lack of progress in the establishment of a weapons-of-mass- destruction-free zone in the Middle East poses a serious concern for the credibility of the NPT. Japan supported, and continues to fully support, the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East, which calls for the establishment of an effectively verifiable Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, chemical and biological, and their delivery systems. Japan has also consistently joined adoption of resolutions by UN General Assembly on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East.
In response to the request by the 2000 Review Conference, Japan has submitted to the 2005 Review Conference (NPT/CONF.2005/20) as well as to Preparatory Committee a report on the steps to promote the achievement of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East and the realization of the goals and objectives of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East.
The establishment of a zone free of nuclear and all other weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems in the Middle East will ultimately require the adherence by all states in the region to the NPT, the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Adherence to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) by all states in the region would also be a substantial practical step towards this end. Japan has been actively taking part in international efforts to encourage universal adherence to these multilateral legally binding instruments on disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In this context, Japan calls upon Israel to accede to the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon State, thereby contributing to taking an initiative for building confidence in the region.
Strengthening the IAEA safeguards system plays a vital role in underpinning the NPT. Japan strongly believes that the conclusion of the IAEA comprehensive safeguards agreements and additional protocols by all states in the Middle East region would contribute to confidence building which is essential for the establishment of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone.
Japan is firmly committed to supporting the Middle East peace process, a key to achieving regional stability. Such stability will facilitate the process of establishing a zone free of weapons of mass destruction there. Japan will intensify political consultations with Israelis and Palestinians, as well as other countries concerned, to encourage peace efforts and will assist the Palestinians to help them establish an independent state according to the Road Map. As a concrete step to this end, Prime Minister Koizumi of Japan invited President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority to Japan from 15 to 17 of this May and had close exchanges of views on the Middle East peace process. On this occasion the Government of Japan pledged to provide assistance of US$100 million to the Palestinians for the immediate future. Both leaders agreed to hold a ministerial meeting this year to map out a detailed plan of this assistance. At the same time, Japan extended the invitation to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of the State of Israel to visit Japan and discuss with Japanese political leaders for promoting the peace process.
Japan appreciates the efforts of Islamic Republic of Iran, the IAEA and countries concerned, in resolving Iran's nuclear issue. Recognizing the efforts made by the international community to pursue the peaceful resolution of Iranian nuclear issue, we welcome, and attach great importance to, Iran's suspension of uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities. At the same time, Japan reaffirms its strong concern that Iran's policy of concealment up to October 2003 has resulted in many breaches of Iran's obligations to comply with its safeguards with the IAEA. There are still outstanding issues to be resolved and clarified. Continuous efforts are needed to establish international confidence.
In order to dispel the serious concerns of the international community, Japan believes that it is essential for Iran to sincerely implement all the requirements of the relevant IAEA resolutions, including the suspension of all its enrichment-related and reprocessing activities without exception. It is equally important that Iran continues to positively cooperate with the IAEA by providing adequate and complete information and any access deemed necessary by the IAEA. It is equally important that Iran ratifies its additional protocol as a matter of urgency.
Japan sincerely hopes the current negotiation process between EU3/EU and Iran will result in a success. In particular, Japan considers it extremely important that Iran agrees to provide sufficient "objective guarantees" as required by EU3, which we believe will provide the most effective assurance that Iran's nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes.
Japan welcomes and commends Libya's decision in December 2003 to abandon all of its weapons of mass destruction programs, while expressing concern over Libya's past failure to meet the requirements of its safeguards agreement, which constituted non-compliance. I would also like to welcome Libya's positive cooperation with the IAEA in the verification work related to Libya's past undeclared nuclear programme.
Japan encourages Libya and all other relevant member states of the IAEA to continue their cooperation in order to enable the successful completion of the Agency's verification work.
Japan hopes that Libya will play an even more active role as a member of the global non-proliferation regime. In particular, Japan welcomes Libya's signing of the Protocol Additional in March 2004 and would like to urge Libya to ratify the Protocol as soon as possible.
The nuclear weapon capabilities of both India and Pakistan make peace and stability in South Asia more vulnerable, and the fact they remain outside the NPT undermines the universality of the Treaty. In this regard, I would like to reiterate the importance of the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1172, adopted in June 1998.
The 2000 NPT Review Conference declared that both States do not have the status of nuclear-weapon States. Japan continues to urge India and Pakistan to accede to the NPT as non-nuclear-weapon States promptly and without condition. Japan also encourages both countries to continue their commitment to the moratorium of nuclear tests, and to make positive move toward signing and ratifying the CTBT.
At the same time, it is also of the utmost importance that both States refrain from any act that would defeat the object and purpose of the Treaty as well as take practical steps in support of the Treaty, pending their accession to the Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon States.
I would like to emphasize that the DPRK's nuclear programs are a direct threat to Japan's national security and undermine peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and beyond. In the plenary meeting yesterday, I expressed our deep concern regarding the DPRK's decision in 2003 to withdraw from the Treaty and its statement in February 2005 regarding the manufacture and possession of nuclear weapons. These represent a serious challenge to the global non-proliferation regime and one of the most serious challenge to the NPT regime since 2000 Review Conference. Therefore, 2005 NPT Review Conference should send clear message that the international community does not accept, under any circumstances, any development, acquisition or possession, test or transfer of nuclear weapons by the DPRK.
I would like to suggest that the following essential elements be incorporated in the final product of this Review Conference.
- expresses grave concern over the DPRK's nuclear programs, which undermine peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and beyond
- expresses deep concern over the DPRK's decision in January 2003 to withdraw from the Treaty, as well as its recent statement in February regarding the manufacture and possession of nuclear weapons
- urges the DPRK to promptly come into compliance with the NPT, under any circumstances, not to develop, acquire, possess, test or transfer nuclear weapons and to completely dismantle all of its nuclear programs, including its uranium enrichment programs, in a permanent, thorough and transparent manner subject to credible international verification
- emphasizes the importance of peacefully resolving this issue through diplomatic means within the framework of the Six-Party Talks and urges the DPRK to expeditiously return to the Six-Party Talks without preconditions
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