Atlanta Consultation II on the Future of the NPT
(Atlanta, January 26-28 January, 2005)
Nonproliferation and Regional Issues

By Takeshi NAKANE
Deputy-Director General, Non-proliferation, Disarmament and Science Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan

Distinguished participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

(Strengthening of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Regime)

While the demise of the Cold War has decreased the threat of a large scale nuclear war, the threat of proliferation of nuclear weapons has grown. The revelation of an underground network of nuclear proliferation has brought to light the issue of how to prevent the proliferation of nuclear or radioactive materials to non-state actors including terrorists; an issue that has become one of the most important issues for the international community to address, together with the nuclear issue of North Korea among other countries. As potential loopholes in the current nuclear non-proliferation regime have become apparent, the importance of strengthening the regime is increasingly called for.

In the light of such a situation, various means to fill the loophole have been explored, as represented by U.S. President Bush's proposal on non-proliferation and IAEA Director-General ElBaradei's initiative on multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle. The NPT and the IAEA safeguards which support it, however, remain the core of the current global nuclear non-proliferation regime. Japan, therefore, believes that the key to strengthening the NPT regime lies in the strengthening of the IAEA safeguards.

In this context, Japan is convinced that the strengthening of the IAEA safeguards through the universalization of the Additional Protocol is at present the most realistic and effective means of strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime. The Additional Protocol was devised, reflecting on the fact that the traditional IAEA safeguards treaty was powerless in detecting the suspected nuclear weapons program of Iraq and North Korea. The development of the Additional Protocol was a landmark in that it aims not only at the verification of the nuclear materials declared by the states parties, but also at the detection of undeclared nuclear materials and nuclear activities. Japan believes that the IAEA safeguards have been substantially strengthened by the Additional Protocol.

The strengthened safeguards, however, cannot be truly effective unless the Additional Protocol prevails all over the world. Japan, together with other like-minded states, has continued its efforts toward the universalization of the Additional Protocol. In June 2001, Japan co-hosted with IAEA "the International Symposium for Further Reinforcement of IAEA Safeguards in the Asia-Pacific Region". Japan also supported seminars in Latin America, Central Asia, the three Baltic States and Africa. In order to wrap up these regional seminars, Japan hosted "the International Conference on Wider Adherence to Strengthened IAEA Safeguards", with participants from 36 countries in December 2002.

Although these efforts have begun bearing fruit, the number of the countries in which the Additional Protocol has come into force is 62 as of January this year, which has not yet reached a standard we can be satisfied with, in comparison with the number of the countries which have concluded a comprehensive safeguards agreement, i.e. 143.

This is not to say that the Additional Protocol is a panacea. In order to strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime, a variety of measures should be utilized to strengthen the IAEA safeguards. I would like to stress, however, that the universalisation of the Additional Protocol should be set as the first target to be achieved. Japan, as a state located in Asia-Pacific region, will continue dialogue with Asia-Pacific states that have not yet concluded an Additional Protocol to do so as soon as possible. For example, this matter will be one of the major issues to be dealt with at the 2nd Asian Senior-Level Talks on Non-proliferation (ASTOPII) which will be held on February 9 in Tokyo. This meeting will be attended by Director-General level officials from ASEAN 10, Australia, China, Republic of Korea and the United States.

(North Korea)

Now, I would like to address specific regional nonproliferation issues. In particular, finding an early and peaceful solution to the DPRK nuclear issue is essential for securing peace and stability in Northeast Asia and also for maintaining authority of and confidence in the international nuclear non-proliferation regime based upon the NPT.

Japan cannot accept, under any circumstances, any development, acquisition, possession, test or transfer of nuclear weapons by the DPRK. We continue to call on the DPRK to dismantle all nuclear programs in a permanent, thorough and transparent manner subject to credible and effective international verification. The DPRK should observe all the international agreements related to nuclear issues, including the NPT, and implement completely and immediately the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA. The DPRK must immediately commit itself to dismantling expeditiously all of its nuclear programs, including its clandestine uranium enrichment program, and declare complete information related to all of its nuclear programs. At the same time, we will continue to appeal to the DPRK that the benefits of dismantling its nuclear programs are much greater than their possession, and that complete dismantlement of all its nuclear programs under credible and international verification would benefit the DPRK most.

Japan firmly believes that the DPRK nuclear issue should be solved peacefully through dialogue. The framework of the Six-Party Talks is currently the most realistic and should continue to be fully utilized. Japan is ready to continue to make every effort for a resolution by diplomatic efforts, primarily by actively contributing to the Six-Party Talks.

(Middle East)

Regarding the Iranian nuclear issue, recognizing devoted efforts made by the international community to pursue the peaceful resolution of this issue, Japan welcomes the fact that Iran has voluntarily continued and extended its suspension of all uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities. Japan calls on Iran to sincerely implement all requirements of the relevant IAEA resolutions and expects the current negotiation process between three European countries and Iran to result in success.

With respect to the issue of the Middle East, lack of progress in the establishment of a weapons-of-mass- destruction-free zone in the Middle East poses a serious problem for the credibility of the NPT. Japan supported, and continues to fully support, the Resolution on the Middle East adopted at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, which calls for the establishment of an effectively verifiable Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, chemical and biological, and their delivery systems.

The adherence by all States in the region to the multilateral legally binding instruments on the disarmament of weapons of mass destruction such as the NPT, the BWC, the CWC as well as the CTBT will be essential towards this end. Japan has been actively taking part in international efforts to encourage all concerned states to join these legal instruments. In this regard, Japan has taken advantage of various occasions, including ministerial meetings, to make specific demarches to Israel, party to none of the above mentioned treaties or conventions, to accede to the NPT, sign and ratify the CTBT.

(South Asia)

As for the South Asia, the fact that India and Pakistan still remain outside of the NPT regime seriously undermines the value of the NPT as a norm. In this regard, we should continue to urge India and Pakistan to join the NPT as non-nuclear weapon states, as urged by UNSC resolution 1172 and the 2000 NPT Review Conference. We should also urge the two countries to sign and ratify the CTBT, and continue further their commitment to the moratorium on nuclear testing.


This year marks the 60th anniversary of the tragedy of atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan, as the only country that have suffered nuclear devastation, places high priority on nuclear disarmament and have taken various initiative to this end. I strongly hope that the 2005 NPT Review Conference presents the international community with an opportunity to renew its commitment to both nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and to make steady progress towards "a world free from nuclear weapons". We will continue to cooperate in achieving this goal.

Thank you.

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