At The First Committee of the 67th Session
of the General Assembly
- Thematic Debate: Nuclear Weapons -
17 October 2012, New York
Japan strongly believes that the tragic consequences caused by the use of nuclear weapons must never be repeated. And as the only country to have suffered from atomic bombings, Japan has been engaged in practical and progressive efforts for a world without nuclear weapons.
As one of these ongoing efforts, Japan will once again be submitting to this Committee a draft resolution on nuclear disarmament entitled “United action towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons”. This resolution as in previous years places emphasis on concrete and practical measures to be taken by the international community to advance nuclear disarmament. We hope all UN Member States support it.
Japan welcomes the unilateral and bilateral measures taken over the past few years by the nuclear-weapon states of France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States to cut the size of their nuclear arsenals. We encourage them not to stop there, but to make further reductions in all types of nuclear weapons. In addition to such efforts, it is indispensable for the nuclear-weapon states to pursue disarmament on a multilateral basis in order to bring us closer to a nuclear weapon free world. Indeed, Action 5 of the 2010 NPT Action Plan calls upon the nuclear-weapon states to promptly undertake a number of concrete disarmament measures. In this regard, Japan welcomes the P5 meetings, the most recent of which was held in Washington D.C. in June, to build confidence amongst the five nuclear-weapon states. We hope that this P5 process produces tangible outcomes in the future that will lead to global disarmament on a multilateral basis.
When implementing nuclear disarmament measures, the principle of transparency is crucial. The 2010 NPT Final Document highlights the importance of enhanced mutual confidence through increased transparency. It is for this reason that the NPDI places its focus on this issue. As it is noted in the Joint Statement of its 5th Ministerial Meeting held last month in New York, the NPDI developed a draft reporting form, guided by Action 21 of the NPT Action Plan, and shared it with the nuclear-weapon states. We also submitted the reporting form to the First Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference held this year in Vienna as an annex to our working paper on transparency. Japan hopes that the NPDI’s input contributes to agreement by the nuclear-weapon states on a standard reporting form and to appropriate reporting intervals.
At the same time as the nuclear-weapon states carry out their activities, the non-states parties to the NPT should not remain inactive. Japan urges these states to accede to the NPT as non-nuclear-weapon states promptly and without conditions.
Japan is convinced that an FMCT is the next logical step towards nuclear disarmament. It is thus deeply regrettable that there are no emerging prospects in the Conference on Disarmament of negotiations commencing on such a treaty. Therefore, while continuing our efforts to start negotiations within the CD, Japan believes that seeking another solution that will lead to negotiations is worth considering. As a member of NPDI, Japan strongly supports the Canadian efforts this year to break through the current situation by presenting once more a resolution on FMCT to the General Assembly. In the meantime, until the conclusion and entry into force of an FMCT, Japan calls upon all the states possessing nuclear weapons to declare and maintain a moratorium on the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons purposes.
Along with an FMCT, the CTBT also needs to be brought into force as soon as possible. Consequently, Japan welcomes the ratification of the CTBT by Indonesia and Guatemala in 2012. We have seized every occasion to urge all non-states parties, particularly the remaining eight Annex II states, to promptly sign and ratify the CTBT, and we intend to continue these activities. In this regard, last month Japan together with other “Friends of the CTBT” countries and the coordinators of “the Conference on Facilitating Entry into Force of the CTBT”, organized the 6th CTBT Ministerial Meeting wherein a joint ministerial statement calling for early entry into force was adopted. Pending the entry into force of the treaty, it is important for all the states possessing nuclear weapons to respect the moratorium on nuclear test explosions.
The establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones in accordance with the 1999 UNDC Guidelines helps to contribute to global and regional peace and security. In this context, Japan supports the convening of the 2012 Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction which was agreed to at the 2010 NPT Review Conference. We commend the facilitator for his efforts to consult broadly with all relevant stakeholders to prepare the ground for a successful conference. We call upon all parties in the Middle East to participate in the spirit of genuine and constructive cooperation. Meanwhile, we hope the nuclear-weapon states sign and ratify the Protocol of the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon Free Zone Treaty at an early date.
In parallel with nuclear disarmament, it is important to strengthen and maintain nuclear non-proliferation in order to enhance peace and security. Accordingly, the full implementation of nuclear non-proliferation obligations by every state is vital.
The nuclear issues related to the DPRK and Iran pose a serious challenge to the peace and stability of their regions as well as the entire international community. Japan strongly urges the DPRK abandon all its nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs, including uranium enrichment activities in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. The DPRK must immediately comply fully with its obligations and commitments under relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks. With regard to Iran’s nuclear issue, Japan urges Iran to comply fully and without delay with its obligations under relevant UN Security Council resolutions as well as the requirements of the IAEA Board of Governors resolutions, and to fully cooperate with the IAEA in order to resolve all outstanding issues, including those related to the possible military dimensions of its nuclear program.
As way of conclusion, allow me to reiterate that Japan is fully committed to achieving a peaceful and secure world free of nuclear weapons. We intend to continue to steadily promote effective measures for global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation in close cooperation with other UN Member States.