Awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)
(Statement by Foreign Minister Taro Kono)
1. The award ceremony for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize took place in Oslo on December 10.
2. The Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has to date worked to promote the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Although different from the Japanese government’s approach, we share the common goal of eliminating nuclear weapons. Through this award, we welcome both an increase in global awareness and heightened momentum towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
3. Over many years, the Hibakusha (Atomic Bomb survivors) of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have conveyed to the world the reality of the atomic bombings to realize a world free of nuclear weapons. The Government would like to express once again its respect for their efforts. It is of great significance that representatives of the Hibakusha and the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki participated in the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in recognition of their efforts.
4. In the increasingly severe security environment surrounding Japan, the duty of the Government to protect the lives and properties of its people is becoming ever more important. It is essential to steadily seek ways to advance nuclear disarmament realistically, while responding appropriately to real threats, including North Korea’s nuclear and missile development programs.
5. Furthermore, in the international community, the difference of approaches on how to advance nuclear disarmament has become clear. Japan will persist in rebuilding confidence andtrust between nuclear-weapon and non-nuclear-weapon stateswith different security environments. We will continue advancing realistic and practical efforts also with the engagement of nuclear-weapons states. Through initiatives such as the recent meeting in Hiroshima of the Group of Eminent Persons for Substantive Advancement of NuclearDisarmament, we are committed to steadily advancing efforts towards a world free of nuclear weapons.