Statement by Mr. Masatoshi Shimbo
Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Science Department
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
At the First Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2010 NPT Review Conference
Vienna, 9 May 2007
I would like to address Japan's position on strengthening the IAEA safeguards system, including the Additional Protocol and integrated safeguards, as well as export controls, UN Security Council Resolution 1540, and nuclear-weapon-free zones.
The IAEA is the competent authority responsible for verifying and assuring non-diversion of nuclear material through application of safeguards. Japan therefore attaches great importance to strengthening the effectiveness of the IAEA safeguards by maximizing the IAEA's authority and capability.
The IAEA, since its establishment fifty years ago, has performed its duties in a responsible and impartial manner, and its achievements have been widely commended by the international community, as evident in its receipt of Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. Japan calls on all States to give their full and continuing support to the IAEA in order to ensure that it is able to meet its safeguards responsibilities.
We are witnessing extremely regrettable challenges to the non-proliferation regime such as the DPRK's missile launches and proclaimed nuclear test, and Iran's continued nuclear activities without international community's confidence. While the international community has recently taken steps to deal with such challenges, States Parties have consistently endeavored to strengthen the IAEA safeguards system which is a key and essential component of the NPT.
The universalization of the Additional Protocol is the most realistic and effective way to strengthen the current non-proliferation regime. It can play a pivotal role in increasing the transparency of States' nuclear related activities by providing the IAEA with the enhanced verification ability to assure not only the non-diversion of declared nuclear material but also the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities. Japan believes that IAEA safeguards, reinforced by universal adherence to the Additional Protocol, should constitute the NPT safeguards standards as required by paragraph 1 of Article III of the NPT. Japan therefore calls on all States Parties to the NPT that have not yet done so to conclude additional protocols without further delay.
Japan has been actively taking initiatives, in cooperation with the IAEA and like-minded countries, to raise awareness of the importance of the Additional Protocol. Japan's committed efforts toward this end include contribution to a series of IAEA seminars and annually hosting the Asian Senior-level Talks on Non-Proliferation (ASTOP) since 2003.
Such efforts have led to the steady increase in the number of States that have concluded an additional protocol. Japan highly commends, in particular, the conclusion of the protocols by Ukraine and Libya last year. In this context, Japan welcomes Libya's strategic decision to abandon its WMD program, which provides a good precedent to follow. I also welcome the concrete steps taken in recent years by a number of Asian countries, such as Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, to sign or ratify their protocols. Japan is ready to share our experience of safeguards implementation with those countries determined to achieve maximum transparency with respect to their nuclear activities.
Let me briefly touch upon integrated safeguards. Given the limited safeguards resources of the IAEA and ever-growing verification needs, Japan attaches importance to wider application of integrated safeguards with a view to maximizing the efficiency of the IAEA's safeguards activities. Japan hopes that the application of integrated safeguards will start in as many States as possible, leading to a significant reduction in the costs and burden for both the IAEA and the States concerned. I would like to emphasize that the introduction of integrated safeguards in a State requires sincere implementation of its comprehensive safeguards agreement as well as its additional protocol.
The role of export controls, as required by paragraph 2 of the Article III of the NPT, is crucial to achieving nuclear non-proliferation. The multinational export control regimes for nuclear related materials, equipment and technology, namely the Zangger Committee and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), have played an important role in this respect.
Japan urges those States Parties that have not yet done so to establish and implement appropriate effective national rules and regulations on export controls over both nuclear and nuclear-related dual-use items, based on the Zangger Committee Understandings and the NSG Guidelines.
As called upon by the previous NPT Review Conferences, the Zangger Committee and the NSG have been actively engaged in outreach activities to help States Parties better understand the activities of these regimes and also establish adequate domestic export control laws and regulations. The value of such outreach activities was reaffirmed at the Plenary Meeting of the NSG held in Cape Town two weeks ago.
As a leading country in the area of export controls, Japan has been promoting increased awareness about the importance of efficient and effective export controls in Asia. We also work towards strengthening the existing export control systems in our region, by dispatching experts, providing grant aid, and holding seminars. In 2007, Japan successfully held the 14th Asian Export Control Seminar with the participation of 25 countries and regions, the largest number in its history of 14 years.
Japan would like to highlight that the UN Security Council Resolution 1540 has become an important tool in support for the NPT regime. It is significant as it provides the international community with a basis for responding to the growing threats posed by non-State actors that may acquire, develop, traffic in or use Weapons of Mass Destruction and their means of delivery. Japan has taken a lead in ensuring the effective implementation of the resolution in the international community. Our efforts include contribution to the work of the 1540 committee, participation in various regional seminars and workshops, and provision of capacity building assistance related to the implementation of this resolution. We encourage other States Parties to do their best to implement this resolution.
Japan supports establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at by the States of the regions concerned and on the condition that the establishment of such zones would contribute to regional stability and security. From this point of view, Japan supports all the relevant UN General Assembly resolutions concerning the nuclear-weapon-free zone including the resolution on a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.
We believe that the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia signed on 8 September last year is the manifestation of the efforts made by the countries of Central Asia in strengthening peace and security in the region. Japan takes note of the readiness expressed by the five Central Asian States to continue consultations on a number of provisions of the Treaty and will pay close attention to these future consultations among States directly concerned.
Thank you very much.
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