Statement by H.E. Mr. Yoshiki MINE

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Head of the Delegation of Japan

to the Conference on Disarmament

At the First Committee

of the 60th Session of the General Assembly

Cluster Debate : Nuclear Disarmament

10 October 2005, New York

Mr. Chairman,

Distinguished delegates,

In the year of the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, one cannot overemphasize the importance of the maintenance and strengthening of the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. The NPT without question remains the cornerstone for achieving these objectives under the present circumstances.

The 2005 NPT Review Conference and the UNGA Summit were unable to produce any substantive document. Other disarmament machineries and frameworks, including the CD and the UNDC which are currently stagnating, are also facing profound challenges. Now more than ever, it is imperative that this Committee enhance its role in realizing nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

(Strengthening of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime)

Recent challenges to the NPT regime, such as non-compliance and the proliferation of nuclear-related technology through underground nuclear proliferation networks, as well as the risk of the acquisition of nuclear weapons and related materials by terrorists, have highlighted the urgency for further efforts on the part of States Parties in maintaining and strengthening the NPT regime.

Both nuclear-weapon States and non-nuclear-weapon States must remain fully compliant with their obligations and commitments under the NPT.

Nuclear-weapon States should take seriously the commitment made to date by nearly all countries to renounce the option of nuclear armament under the NPT regime, recalling the Decisions and Resolution of the 1 995 Review and Extension Conference and the Final Document of the 2000 NPT Review Conference, which demonstrate their intention to fulfill their pledge for nuclear disarmament.

The efforts of the nuclear-weapon States to reduce their nuclear arsenals should be duly appreciated. Japan highly values the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions (SORT): which should serve as a step for further reductions in Russian and US strategic nuclear warheads. Japan encourages the Russian Federation and the United States to work towards the Treaty's full implementation and to consider building on the Treaty to realize further reductions by recognizing it as a basis for the future, not an end in itself.

Japan also calls upon all nuclear-weapon States to take further steps leading to nuclear disarmament, including deeper reductions in all types of nuclear weapons, and calls on all States not to act in any way that would lower the nuclear threshold. In this regard, Japan emphasizes the importance of applying the principles of irreversibility, verifiability, and transparency in the process of working towards the elimination of nuclear weapons.

The danger of undermining the NPT regime also exists outside the framework. The states remaining outside the NPT which are developing or suspected of developing nuclear weapons risk sending out erroneous messages to NPT States Parties, suggesting there are benefits to remaining outside the Treaty. These States not Parties to the NPT should bear in mind their political responsibility, as members of the international community, to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. Japan joins other States Parties in continuing to call upon States not party to the NPT to accede to it as non-nuclear-weapon States without delay and without conditions, and, pending their accession, to refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purpose of the NPT and to implement practical measures towards disarmament and non-proliferation.

(DPRK)

Japan welcomes the fact that, at the fourth round of the Six-Party Talks, an agreement was reached on a joint statement indicating the final goal to be achieved by these Talks. Japan highly appreciates the efforts made by the countries concerned, in particular China as coordinator.

The peaceful resolution of the DPRK's nuclear issue is an urgent security matter for Japan. The DPRK's commitment for the first time to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs in a verifiable manner will provide important groundwork for achieving the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through the Six-Party Talks in the future. Japan takes serious note of DPRK's decision, considers it important for the six parties to implement this agreement promptly and steadily, and believes that constructive dialogue should be promoted to this end.

Although difficulties may lie ahead before denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is achieved. Japan intends to do its utmost to realize the common goal of peace and stability in Northeast Asia by maintaining a close cooperation among the countries concerned.

(Iran)

On September 24, the IAEA Board of Governors adopted a resolution finding Iran in non-compliance with the IAEA Safeguards Agreement, and urged further cooperation with the IAEA as well as the re-establishment of Iran's suspension of uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities. The adoption cf the resolution is a clear message from the international community to Inn, and Japan values it as an important step for resolving this issue through negotiations. Japan strongly urges Iran to respond to this resolution by sincerely implementing all the requirements of the relevant IAEA resolutions, including the suspension of all uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities without exception, including uranium conversion, and calls on Iran to return to the negotiation process with the EU 3.

(CTBT)

The CTBT is an important item because the attitude of nuclear-weapon states does affect the reliability of the NPT. The early entry into force of the CTBT continues to be a top priority for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation agenda. We welcome the Final Declaration of the Fourth Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Treaty, convened here in New York last month, which calls upon al] States which have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Treaty without delay, We sincerely hope that, in particular, the remaining 11 Annex U countries will heed the voice of the international community and become ratifiers to the Treaty. We continue to support the steady reinforcement of the CTBT verification regime in order to maintain momentum for the Treaty's entry-into-force. A moratorium on nuclear weapon test explosions should be maintained pending the entry into force of the Treaty.

(FMCT)

The immediate commencement of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) and its early conclusion was already agreed in 1995 and 2000. A FMCT will be an essential building block towards the total elimination of nuclear arsenals and will also contribute to the prevention of nuclear proliferation by globally banning the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons and enhancing transparency and accountability in the management of such materials through its verification system.

Japan welcomes that the US made clear in its statement last week here in the First Committee its intention to support the early commencement of FMCT negotiations. Japan believes that verification of an FMCT is necessary and feasible. However, our priority is to start negotiations at the CD without preconditions rather than prolonging discussion on the mandate. We should not prejudge the outcome of the negotiations. Japan calls upon all nuclear-weapon States and States not Party to the NPT to declare moratoria on the production of fissile material for any nuclear weapons pending the entry into force of the Treaty.

(IAEA)

Japan congratulates the IAEA and its Director General, Dr. Mohamed Elbaradei on this year's Awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize. Today, the world is recognizing that the threat of proliferation and the role of the IAEA in this fie]d have never been more important. Japan intends to continue to support the IAEA's activities, so that it can accomplish its important mission as the cornerstone of the international nuclear nonproliferation regime,

Japan believes that the universality of the IAEA Additional Protocol is the most realistic and effective means for the enhancement of the nuclear non-proliferation regime, as it can assure the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in each State. While noting the increasing number of countries which have signed or ratified this Protocol, Japan calls on all States that have not yet signed and ratified to do so. In this regard, the capability of the IAEA safeguards activities must be enhanced.

(Introduction of a draft resolution on nuclear disarmament)

Finally, I would like to introduce a draft resolution on nuclear disarmament which will be submitted to the First Committee by Japan. Inspired by the strong national sentiment calling for the total elimination of nuclear weapons, Japan, as the only nation in the world to have suffered the atomic bombings, has submitted draft resolutions on nuclear disarmament annually since 1994, which have enjoyed overwhelming support from the international community. On the occasion of the 60 anniversary of the atomic bombings as well as of the establishment of the United Nations, we have decided to review and restructure our previous resolutions, to create a concise and strong resolution. The international community must overcome the lack of consensus apparent at this year's NPT Review Conference and UNGA Summit, and to that end. Japan hopes that all countries including nuclear-weapon States, regardless of any differences in position, will unite and support our resolution with a view to achieving the total elimination of nuclear weapons.