Basic Position of Japan

March, 1998

Iraq must not be allowed to possess weapons of mass destruction.

The reactions of Iraq are highly deplorable. If Iraq claims without guilt, it should accord UNSCOM immediate and unconditional access to all suspect sites.

To work out a peaceful solution, Japan has been cooperating closely with the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Arab countries and other countries concerned. Japan has been making diplomatic efforts, in various arenas including the Security Council, to strongly urge Iraq to rethink its position. It aims to make Iraq understand that unless Iraq recognized to the hard reality of the international community, it could incur very serious consequences.

Japan appreciates and considers as an important initiative the recent diplomatic efforts by Secretary-General Kofi Annan of the United Nations. It is critical to see if the agreement between Secretary-General Annan and the Iraqi Government will ensure Iraq's acceptance of unconditional inspections in the course of complying with the relevant Security Council resolutions. It is also important for the Iraqi government to implement the agreement faithfully.

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