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NEW YORK, 4 MAY 2009

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset allow me to express my heartfelt congratulations to you, Ambassador Chidyausiku, on your assumption of the chairmanship of the Third Session of the Preparatory Committee. Japan is ready to lend its utmost support to your endeavors towards the success of the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference.

Mr. Chairman,

With the international community currently faced with the threats of nuclear weapons development and nuclear terrorism, it is essential for the present momentum towards nuclear disarmament, which was evident in U.S. President Obama's speech of 5 April, to contribute to the success of the 2010 NPT Review Conference.

Japan, as the only country to have suffered nuclear bombings, has maintained its three non-nuclear principles and has played a leading role in efforts to achieve a peaceful and safe world through nuclear disarmament.

Japan proposes every year a resolution on the total elimination of nuclear weapons which receives overwhelming support in the United Nations General Assembly. We promote the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), and we encourage disarmament and non-proliferation education to civil society including the younger generation. Furthermore, we anticipate that the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, which we launched with Australia as a second-track initiative, will submit a meaningful report. Japan will continue to render its highest support to the Commission.

Mr. Chairman,

In order to maintain and strengthen the NPT regime, it is essential to fully enforce and universalize the Treaty.

Firstly, we need to attend to the countries whose nuclear issues are considered serious within the current international community. We urge North Korea to take concrete actions to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1718 and the Joint Statement of the Six Party Talks. In general, the abuse of right to withdraw from the Treaty after abusing the right for peaceful uses of nuclear energy should not be condoned. In particular, Japan believes it is essential for the international community to be united in taking appropriate responses against countries that have committed a violation and then withdrawn from the Treaty.

With relation to Iran, we hope that they choose an appropriate policy to restore the confidence of the international community.

Secondly, the NPT States Parties must persistently call on the three non-States Parties to join the Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon States. In this context, the issue of how to implement the provisions of the Middle East Resolution is the question to be tackled with.

Mr. Chairman,

Last month the Foreign Minister of Japan, Mr. Hirofumi Nakasone, presented 11 benchmarks that cover three fundamental areas for promoting global nuclear disarmament. Japan strongly hopes that these benchmarks become a foundation for consensus building at next year's NPT Review Conference.

The first area of these benchmarks consists of five nuclear disarmament measures to be taken by all states that hold nuclear weapons.

The first of these measures is the leadership to be demonstrated by the United States and the Russian Federation. The conclusion of negotiations on a successor treaty to START I by the U.S. and Russia, who have both been making active progress in nuclear disarmament, is one of the keys.

As a second measure, it is indispensable for all the other states that possess nuclear weapons, including China, to carry out nuclear disarmament measures, such as nuclear reductions, with improved transparency. Further, we stridently call upon these states to freeze their nuclear development activities, including on means of delivery, that may contradict with the nuclear disarmament efforts of the U.S. and Russia.

As a third measure, we call upon all the states holding nuclear weapons to disclose information on their arsenals regularly and sufficiently, such as the number of their nuclear weapons, surplus fissile material, means of delivery and other relevant data.

The fourth measure is irreversible nuclear disarmament by all states holding nuclear weapons. Japan regards the dismantlement of nuclear warheads and the closure of nuclear test sites, amongst other things, as important irreversible disarmament measures.

The fifth measure is verification. We point out the need to conduct technical research on nuclear weapon dismantlement.

The Second area for promoting global nuclear disarmament consists of measures to be taken by the entire international community.

The first measure in this area is the early entry into force of the CTBT. Japan welcomes the new U.S. administration's positive stance towards the ratification of the CTBT and we hope that the U.S. can ratify it before the upcoming Review Conference. Furthermore, Japan is formulating a "programme for the promotion of the entry into force of the CTBT", and we intend to encourage the prompt ratification of that Treaty by all the other Annex 2 countries, including China.

The second measure is the early commencement and prompt conclusion of negotiations for a treaty banning the production of fissile materials for weapons purposes. Pending the creation of such a treaty, Japan strongly urges all relevant states to declare a moratorium on the production of fissile materials for such purposes.

Measure three is the restriction of ballistic missiles. Japan supports the proposal by the United States and Russia to globalize the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the European Union's proposal for a treaty banning short and intermediate-range ground-to-ground missiles.

As for the third area, the peaceful uses of nuclear energy are important from the perspectives of energy security and global warming. In view of this, we have put forward three vital benchmarks.

First, the international community should extend cooperation in infrastructure development concerning nuclear non-proliferation/safeguards, nuclear safety and nuclear security to countries introducing nuclear power, and assist international development of nuclear power plants in an appropriate manner. Japan will extend further cooperation in these areas, including human resource development. Additionally, regarding the issue of assurance of nuclear fuel supply, Japan has proposed to create a system to register countries' supply capacity with the IAEA, and is taking active part in the international discussions on the issue.

The second is strengthening the safeguards regime. Japan believes that for the peaceful uses of atomic energy it is important for all countries to put in force the NPT Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements and the Model Additional Protocol, and to promote their universalization.

The third measure is the prevention of nuclear terrorism. The control of all nuclear and radiological materials should be enhanced, and we welcome President Obama's proposed "Global Summit on Nuclear Security". Japan is ready to work with the United States on this proposal.

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to inform the Committee that Japan has submitted to the UN Secretariat a working paper that includes the 11 benchmarks that I have just presented. I would also like to highlight that the Government of Japan intends to hold an international meeting on global nuclear disarmament prior to the 2010 NPT Review Conference.

I thank you for your attention.

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