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
Cluster II Specific issue: Regional issues
Vienna, 10 May 2007
Japan supported the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East and will continue to do so. Japan has urged Israel to accede to the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon State, through such opportunities as ministerial visits and bilateral talks on disarmament and non-proliferation. We have also encouraged Israel to join other disarmament and non-proliferation regimes, thereby contributing to taking an initiative for building confidence in the region. At the same time, we urge other Middle Eastern countries to participate in disarmament and non-proliferation regimes such as the CTBT, the BWC, and the CWC in order to foster an environment conducive to the creation of a WMD free zone in the region.
Japan firmly supports the Middle East peace process, which is a key to achieving regional stability. Such stability is a vital factor in establishing conditions for a WMD free zone. Therefore, we will persist in our efforts towards the realization of peaceful co-existence and co-prosperity between the two states, Israel and Palestine, through political dialogue with the two states and measures to promote confidence-building, as well as assistance to the Palestinians.
The challenge posed by Iran's non-compliance with the IAEA Statute is a concern to all of us. Japan regrets that Iran has yet to respond to the requirements set forth by relevant IAEA Board resolutions and UN Security Council Resolutions 1737 and 1747, including the suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and heavy water-related projects.
In defiance of the calls from the international community, Iran is expanding its enrichment-related activities by accelerating its work at Fuel Enrichment Plant in Natanz. Such a reaction does not contribute to restoring the confidence of the international community, nor does it help the IAEA to make progress in its investigation. No country is denying Iran the right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. However, the right has to be exercised in accordance with internationally established rules and with confidence of the international community.
Japan continues to believe that this issue should be resolved peacefully through negotiations and strongly urges Iran to comply with all relevant resolutions and come back to negotiation process without further delay.
Let me now turn to the issue of the DPRK's nuclear programs, which continue to represent a serious challenge to the global non-proliferation regime. Japan expresses its gravest concern over the DPRK's nuclear programs. Its proclaimed nuclear test in October 2006, combined with its buildup of ballistic missiles, makes the DPRK's nuclear programs a significant threat to the peace and security not only of Japan but also in East Asia and the entire international community. Japan also deplores the DPRK's decision in 2003 to withdraw from the NPT and demands that the DPRK retract its announcement and abide by its obligations under the NPT.
Japan urges the DPRK to fulfill its obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions 1695 and 1718: it shall promptly come into compliance with the NPT and abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner; it shall act strictly in accordance with the obligations applicable to States Parties under the NPT and the terms and conditions of its IAEA Safeguards Agreement; it shall provide the IAEA transparency measures extending beyond these requirements as may be required and deemed necessary by the IAEA. Furthermore, Japan encourages the international community to fully implement Resolutions 1695 and 1718 in order to urge the DPRK to take concrete steps toward denuclearization.
Japan emphasizes the importance of peaceful resolution of this issue through diplomatic means within the framework of the Six-Party Talks, which remain the most appropriate framework and should be fully utilized. It is of paramount importance that the DPRK expeditiously and completely implement the actions agreed to by all the Parties at the Six-Party Talks in February 2007 as the first step towards the full implementation of the Joint Statement of September 2005 including the resolution of the nuclear and other issues of concern such as the abduction issue.
With regard to South Asia, Japan appreciates recent efforts made by both India and Pakistan to promote confidence-building and thereby lessen the tensions between them. At the same time, Japan continues to urge both states to accede to the NPT as non-nuclear-weapon States promptly and without condition. We also believe that all the States not parties to the Treaty should take practical disarmament measures in support of the NPT. In this context, we urge India and Pakistan to continue their commitment to the moratorium on nuclear tests, and to sign and ratify the CTBT. As regards the work of the Conference on Disarmament, Japan encourages both states to join other countries in seeking actively an immediate commencement of the negotiations on an FMCT without preconditions, and pending the entry into force of the treaty, to declare a moratorium on the production of fissile material for any nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
(Agreement between US and India on civil nuclear cooperation)
Lastly, I would like to touch upon the Agreement between the US and India on civil nuclear cooperation. Japan recognizes India's importance in the international community, and taking into consideration global warming, understands its need to meet increasing energy demands by utilizing nuclear energy. On the other hand, with respect to international civil nuclear cooperation with India, who is not a Party to the NPT, Japan needs to consider carefully its position, while examining the various factors including the implications of such cooperation on the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. Based upon these viewpoints, Japan will continue to participate proactively in the discussions on this subject in the international fora.
Thank you very much.
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