Statement by H.E. Masakazu Sekiguchi,
Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
At the First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2010 NPT Review Conference
General Debate
Vienna, 30 April 2007

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, please allow me to refer to an honor for Japan that Ambassador Yukiya Amano has been elected as the chair of the first Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) of the 2010 NPT review process. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs for their support. I am also delighted to be here in Vienna, the home of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary.

On a sadder note though, I would like to express my profound sorrow and strong outrage at the tragic murder on 18 April of Mr. Iccho Ito, the Mayor of Nagasaki. On behalf of the Government and people of Japan, I would like to express our sincere gratitude for the moment of silence observed by all the participants. The Government of Japan would like to take this opportunity to pay its deepest respect to the tireless activities of Mayor Ito towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons, and we will make further efforts to realize the common wishes of the Japanese people for a peaceful and safe nuclear-weapon-free world.

(The importance of the NPT)

Mr. Chairman,

From the viewpoint of the only nation to have suffered atomic bombings, as well as to improve the security environment, Japan places immense importance on maintaining and strengthening the NPT, which is the cornerstone of the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. Presently the NPT regime faces a plethora of serious challenges, but the NPT States Parties should rather take these challenges as a good opportunity to concentrate their endeavors to further strengthen the NPT regime.

(The significance of the 1st Preparatory Committee)

This Preparatory Committee marks the beginning of a new review process in the wake of the 2005 NPT Review Conference, which failed to achieve any substantive outcome. Through constructive discussions on the three pillars of the NPT - nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy - during this PrepCom we must prove to the international community that the review process is fulfilling its key responsibilities of addressing the current challenges and thus maintain confidence in the NPT.�@ With the NPT facing serious challenges, we are now at the starting point towards the 2010 Review Conference. We should not repeat what happened at the 2005 Review Conference when we failed to agree on substantive issues while spending too much time on the procedural matters. Japan strongly urges all States Parties to show their flexibility by adopting the draft agenda proposed by the Chairman in order to make the first step towards a successful 2010 Review Conference.

Mr. Chairman,

In this PrepCom, Japan will be taking up in particular the following items.

(Implementation of nuclear disarmament measures)

Advancing nuclear disarmament together with nuclear non-proliferation bolsters faith in the fundamental bargain that underpins the NPT, and leads to the strengthening of the NPT regime. Nuclear disarmament must be promoted persistently while respecting to the fullest possible extent the "Principles and Objectives" of 1995 and the outcome of 2000 including the 13 practical steps. The pressing issues in nuclear disarmament are the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT). The Six Presidents' proposal, which is currently before the Conference on Disarmament (CD), is a realistic compromise that would enable the CD to resume work in its primary role, including negotiations on an FMCT. Japan strongly urges the CD Member States to manifest the necessary flexibility to adopt the Six Presidents' proposal. Additionally, it is important that the nuclear-weapon States implement deeper reductions in all types of nuclear weapons, including beyond those required of the United States and the Russian Federation in the Moscow Treaty, and we urge all nuclear-weapon States to provide transparent accounts of their nuclear disarmament efforts.

(Regional nuclear issues)

The DPRK and Iranian nuclear issues represent serious challenges to the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. The unanimous adoption of strong United Nations Security Council resolutions concerning these two cases demonstrates the international community's strong resolve. Japan welcomes such unified international responses and calls upon all UN Member States to implement these relevant resolutions.

Japan once again condemns the nuclear test by the DPRK in October last year. The DPRK's nuclear test, combined with its buildup of ballistic missile capabilities, poses a significant threat to the peace and security not only of Japan but also in East Asia and the entire international community, and thus a major challenge to the NPT regime. The DPRK's nuclear development cannot be possibly tolerated. We strongly urge the DPRK to fulfill its obligations under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718 and to take concrete steps toward denuclearization. Japan will continue to work towards a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the DPRK nuclear issue through the Six Party Talks.

In relation to Iran, Japan regrets that, despite repeated calls from the international community, Iran has not complied with the requirements of the UN Security Council resolutions, which include suspending all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and work on all heavy water-related projects. Japan strongly hopes for a negotiated peaceful solution to this issue. To this end, Japan will continue to take every opportunity to urge Iran, based on the "suspension for suspension" proposal of the EU3+3, to suspend its enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and then to return swiftly to the negotiation process.

For the purpose of achieving the universality of the NPT, Japan reiterates its calls for India, Israel and Pakistan to accede to the Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon States. In this connection, we would like to point out once again the importance of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East.

(Strengthening the IAEA Safeguards)

Mr. Chairman,

Implementation of the nuclear non-proliferation obligations set out in the NPT must be ensured through IAEA safeguards. For the IAEA to perform sufficiently its vital role and to strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime, it is necessary to further universalize the IAEA Additional Protocol. The number of States adhering to the Additional Protocol currently stands at 78, which is less than half the membership of the NPT. We call upon all countries that have yet to conclude an additional protocol to do so at the earliest possible time. Japan for its part has been working hard towards the conclusion of additional protocols by those countries, in particular in Asia, and intends to continue these efforts.

(The peaceful uses of nuclear energy)

In recent years, expanding global energy demand and global warming has brought about a reexamination of the role of nuclear energy, and internationally the promotion of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy is gaining momentum.

Ensuring nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear safety and nuclear security is indispensable prerequisite to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, including nuclear power generation. Ensuring these three areas, especially for the introduction of nuclear power generation, is a critical issue not only for the countries introducing nuclear power but also for the countries providing assistance, neighboring countries and by extension the whole international community. The activities of the IAEA are crucial for dealing with this issue and Japan is committed to continuing its support for the IAEA.

Enhancing nuclear security, in particular ensuring the prevention of nuclear material proliferation to non-state-actors such as terrorists, is a new issue that international society must tackle. In this regard, Japan has been making efforts to enhance nuclear security through its contributions to the IAEA Nuclear Security Fund, and in March this year, approximately $125,000 U.S. dollars was additionally contributed to this Fund. It is Japan's intention to carry on such support.

(Nuclear Fuel Supply Assurances)

We are faced with the challenging task of advancing the peaceful uses of nuclear energy while ensuring nuclear non-proliferation. Japan welcomes the various proposals put forward, including its own for an "IAEA Standby Arrangements System for the Assurance of Nuclear Fuel Supply" to this end. Japan will continue to participate actively in the international discussions on this issue at the IAEA and other fora.


Mr. Chairman,

Withdrawal from the NPT is a problem that can have serious ramifications for international peace and security. Therefore, more in-depth deliberations should take place based on the valuable discussions that occurred at the 2005 NPT Review Conference.

(Disarmament and non-proliferation education)

Government officials and experts like ourselves are not the only people promoting disarmament and non-proliferation. It is important for the general public to pass on to the next generation its own strong aspirations for peace, experiences and wisdom. In this connection Japan has been emphasizing the importance of disarmament and non-proliferation education. As a new endeavor by Japan, we will hold a Debating Cup on disarmament and non-proliferation between Japanese students and students from around the world. We also intend to utilize "manga", a part of Japanese pop-culture, to spread information on disarmament and non-proliferation.

Mr. Chairman,

Japan has submitted to this Preparatory Committee a comprehensive working paper, which covers the important points I have just raised, and a disarmament and non-proliferation education working paper. Japan is committed to participating actively in the deliberations of each cluster. We strongly desire that through frank discussions among the NPT States Parties on strengthening the Treaty the process for the 2010 NPT Review Conference will smoothly start.

Thank you for your attention.

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