Implementation of article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and paragraph 4(c) of the 1995 Decision on "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament"

Report submitted by Japan

April-May 2007

In accordance with subparagraph 12 of paragraph 15 in the chapter on Article VI of the Final Document of the 2000 NPT Review Conference, the Government of Japan reports on the measures it has taken to implement Article VI of the NPT and paragraph 4(c) of the 1995 Decision on "Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament".

1. Contribution to the 2010 NPT Review Process

In order to make tangible contributions to the preparatory process for the 2010 Review Conference, Japan has put forward Ambassador Yukiya Amano for the chairman of the First Session of the Preparatory Committee, whose chairmanship Japan believes will contribute to the successful outcome of the session.

In addition, in February 2007, Japan hosted a seminar on the NPT entitled "NPT on trial: how should we respond to the challenge of maintaining and strengthening the treaty regime?" in Vienna, in order to provide an opportunity for an informal exchange of views on key issues among participants and to prepare the ground for a smooth start to the First Session of Preparatory Committee of the 2010 NPT Review Conference.

2. Commitment to the Three Non-Nuclear Principles

The Government of Japan continues to firmly commit itself to the "Three Non-Nuclear Principles," which describes the policy of not possessing, not producing and not permitting the introduction of nuclear weapons into Japan. Successive Cabinets of Japan, including the incumbent cabinet under Prime Minister Abe, have repeatedly articulated that Japan will continue to uphold these principles.

3. Efforts for the early entry-into-force of the CTBT

Japan emphasizes the importance of the early entry into force of the CTBT, which constitutes one of the major pillars of the NPT regime. From this point of view, Japan has made various efforts, including the following:

  • Japan has seized every high-level opportunity to convince States that have not yet signed or ratified the CTBT, especially those States listed in Annex II, of the importance of its early entry into force.
  • In response to the Final Declaration of the Fourth Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT in 2005, the States that have not yet signed or ratified the CTBT, especially those ten States whose ratification is a requirement for its entry into force, are strongly urged to do so at the earliest possible date. As an effort to promote the early ratification by the Annex II States, in February 2007, Japan invited from Colombia, which has not yet ratified the CTBT, a delegation headed by the chairperson of the Colombian Senate Foreign Affairs Committee to visit the International Monitoring System (IMS) facilities and to exchange views with relevant parties in Japan.
  • Japan, together with Australia, Canada, Finland and Netherlands, co-hosted the CTBT Friends Ministerial Meeting in September 2006. The Joint Ministerial Statement issued on this occasion underlined that progress on the early entry into force of the CTBT would also contribute to a positive outcome of the preparatory process for the 2010 Review Conference of the NPT.
  • It is also important that efforts to establish a nuclear-test-ban verification regime undertaken by the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO will continuously be made, including the IMS. The nuclear test proclaimed by the DPRK in October 2006 demonstrated the effectiveness of the IMS. As part of the establishment of the IMS, the construction of domestic monitoring facilities in Japan has been steadily progressing under the supervision of its CTBT National Operation System. To date, the five IMS facilities in Japan have already been certified by the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO and a noble gas detection system has been installed in Takasaki.
  • Japan has encouraged States that have not yet ratified the CTBT to do so by, for example, providing technical assistance in the field of earthquake monitoring technology for the establishment of the IMS.

4. Activities in preparation for the commencement of Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty negotiations

Japan emphasizes the importance and urgency of the commencement of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT). As a concrete contribution to this end, Japan presented, in May 2006, a working paper on an FMCT to the Conference on Disarmament (CD), aimed at deepening discussions on the substantive issues of an FMCT, and facilitating the early commencement of FMCT negotiations.

Japan has been making its utmost efforts to break the current stalemate at the CD, thereby realizing the early commencement of negotiations on an FMCT. Japan has redoubled its endeavors for this purpose through the dispatch of high level representatives to the CD at various opportunities. During the 2006 session, both the then Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Akiko Yamanaka, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yohei Kono, delivered speeches stressing the need and the urgency for the commencement of negotiations on an FMCT. On 13 March 2007, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Masayoshi Hamada, also made a statement at the CD, urging the CD members to commence negotiations on an FMCT in the second part of the current session, building upon the positive results in the first part.

5. Submission of Resolutions on Nuclear Disarmament to the United Nations General Assembly

Every year since 1994, Japan has submitted its resolution on nuclear disarmament to the United Nations General Assembly.

The year 2005 marked the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombings. On this occasion, however, no substantive agreement was achieved at the 2005 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in May as well as in the negotiation on the disarmament and non-proliferation section of the UN World Summit Outcome in September. Under these circumstances, inspired by the strong national sentiment calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons, Japan, as the only nation in the world to have suffered atomic bombing, strengthened the content of its draft resolution, while maintaining its basic position that places great importance on the realization of a peaceful and safe world free of nuclear weapons through a steady continuation of a practical and incremental approach towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons. The draft resolution was adopted at the Plenary Session of the 60th United Nations General Assembly by an overwhelming majority.

In 2006, taking into consideration that there still remain nuclear issues with both DPRK and Iran and that the recent international situation surrounding nuclear disarmament continues to be challenging, Japan once again submitted its draft resolution on nuclear disarmament to the UN General Assembly. On 6 December 2006, the draft resolution was adopted at the Plenary Session of the United Nations General Assembly by an overwhelming majority.

Although the situation of nuclear disarmament remains challenging, Japan intends to pursue its various diplomatic efforts to maintain and reinforce the international disarmament and non-proliferation regime based on the NPT, responding to the political will of a large majority of the international community, which was expressed through the adoption of this resolution.

6. Cooperation for denuclearization in Russia

At the Kananaskis Summit in June 2002, G8 leaders announced "the G8 Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction" to address non-proliferation, disarmament, counter-terrorism and nuclear safety issues. Japan committed itself, for the purpose of this Partnership, to make a contribution amounting up to over 200 million US dollars, out of which 100 million is to be allocated to the G8 disposition program of Russian surplus weapons-grade plutonium and the rest to projects for dismantling decommissioned Russian nuclear submarines. Meanwhile, with the cooperation of Japan, twenty kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium, equivalent to two to three nuclear warheads, was successfully disposed of with the aid of advanced technology developed by Russian scientists, for the first time in the world. In December 2003, Japan and Russia launched the first cooperation project for dismantling a Victor III class decommissioned nuclear submarine under this Partnership, which was successfully completed in December 2004. Japan and Russia concluded an implementing arrangement for dismantling five additional decommissioned nuclear submarines and at present one of them, a Victor I class submarine, is already in the process of being dismantled. Furthermore, in 2006, Japan decided to cooperate for the construction of an On-shore Storage Facility for Reactor Compartment at Razvoynik Bay.

7. Efforts to promote disarmament and non-proliferation education

In August 2002, the Group of Governmental Experts of Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education submitted a report on disarmament and non-proliferation education to the UN Secretary General. This report, containing a series of recommendations for immediate and long-term implementation, formed the basis for the draft resolution on disarmament and non-proliferation education adopted at the UNGA in 2002, 2004 and 2006.

Since 1983, Japan has invited more than 620 participants in the UN disarmament fellowship program to Japan, including the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, providing these young officials, who will be responsible for future disarmament diplomacy, with an opportunity to witness the horrendous and long-lasting consequences caused by atomic bombs. Japan will continue to contribute to this program.

Japan believes that the international community should be well informed of the destructive effects of nuclear weapons. In accordance with the wish of the people of Japan that such weapons never be used again, the Government of Japan has supported, on a number of occasions, the efforts of local governments and NGOs to organize exhibitions relating to atomic bombs in foreign countries, including the Hiroshima-Nagasaki A-bomb exhibition in La Paz, Bolivia, in August 2006 and in Portland, U.S.A., in November 2006.

To elucidate the current state of disarmament and non-proliferation and to gain broad understanding and support of the issue, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan published in March 2006 the third edition of its book entitled "Japan's Disarmament and Non-proliferation Policy".

In its efforts to implement the aforementioned recommendations suggested in the UN report, Japan invited prominent educators on disarmament and non-proliferation to visit Japan in February 2005, February 2006 and March 2007. The educators lectured in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, on the necessity of nuclear disarmament, and also exchanged opinions with the victims of atomic bombs and NGOs.

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