The 12th Asian Senior-level Talks on Non-Proliferation (ASTOP-XII)
1. Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted the 12th Asian Senior-level Talks on Non-Proliferation (ASTOP-XII) on Wednesday, January 20 at Mita Kaigisho (Mita Conference Hall) in Tokyo. Senior level government officials in charge of non-proliferation policies from the ASEAN member countries, Australia, Canada, China, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the United States, and Japan, participated in the meeting.
2. At the beginning, Mr. Kazutoshi Aikawa, Ambassador, Director-General for Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Science, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it is necessary to take appropriate and sufficient measures to counter proliferation by each country in the Asia-Pacific region where its economy is growing rapidly.
He strongly condemns the nuclear test conducted by North Korea on January 6 even though the international community has repeatedly called on North Korea to fully comply with the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs), and not to conduct any further provocation, including nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches.
Furthermore, he called on the international community to unitedly tackle challenges in comprehensive manners, such as safeguards, export control, nuclear security, Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), UN Security Council resolution 1540 and so on.
3. The main points of the Talks were as follows:
(1) Participants exchanged views on North Korean nuclear issue and the importance of steady implementation of relevant UNSCRs by each country.
(2) With respect to maintaining and strengthening of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime, participants discussed the ways to strengthen IAEA safeguards system and efforts toward universalization of IAEA additional protocol, implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1540 and strengthening of strategic trade control.
(3) With respect to counter-proliferation measures, participants shared their experiences on PSI.
(4) Participants exchanged views on strengthening of nuclear security implementation.
4. Following the Talks, Mr. Seiji KIHARA, State Minister for Foreign Affairs hosted a reception, where participants continued their discussions with the non-proliferation experts of Japan. ASTOP provides a unique and precious opportunity for all senior officials from Asian countries and those countries with a common interest in the security of Asian region to converge and exchange their information and views on non-proliferation issues in a comprehensive manner.