Opening remarks of Foreign Minister Hirofumi NAKASONE
at Joint Press Conference
with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

(June 30, 2009)

I would like to welcome the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on his visit to Japan.

In addition to the severe economic and financial situation, the international community is faced with various challenges on a global scale, such as the environment and climate change, terrorism and piracy, and the proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

That being the case, the role to be played by the United Nation is becoming increasingly important, and we have high regards for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's active efforts to deal with these issues.

It is indeed timely that we welcome the Secretary-General at this juncture to conduct an exchange of views on how Japan and the United Nations can strengthen mutual cooperation.

Regarding the issue of North Korea, the nuclear test carried out by North Korea is a grave challenge to the international community. The Secretary-General and I shared the recognition that it is necessary to respond resolutely to this challenge and that the possession of nuclear weapons by North Korea cannot be accepted. With the cooperation of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, we would like to steadily implement the UN Security Council Resolution 1874.

Piracy off the Somali coast is also a serious issue for Japan's economic activities. In addition to the Self-Defense Forces' activities in the Gulf of Aden, I explained our mid-to-long term efforts that include the enhancement of maritime enforcement capabilities of surrounding nations and regional cooperation as well as the stabilization of the Somali situation, for which the Secretary-General gave a high appraisal.

Concerning disarmament and non-proliferation, the Secretary-General and I both recognized that it is important to make the sentiment in favor of disarmament global and sustainable in a way that is conducive to security. From this prospective, we confirmed that Japan will also be cooperating with the United Nations for the early effectuation of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and for the success of the NPT Review Conference in 2010.

As for the reform of the UN Security Council, we were both of the recognition that an early realization of reform is necessary, and I stated that I would like to advance discussion on this matter with continued understanding and cooperation of the Secretary-General.

I will be continuing the exchange of views with the Secretary-General. The idea is to further promote cooperation with the United Nations by discussing broadly such matters as the environment, climate change, human security and regional affairs.

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