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Statement BY Toshio Sano

Ambassador of Japan

to the Conference on Disarmament

At The First Committee of the 69th Session

of the General Assembly



- Thematic Debate: Nuclear Weapons -

 20 October 2014, New York


Mr. Chairman,


As the only country to have suffered atomic bombings during the war, Japan has firmly committed itself to strive for realizing a world without nuclear weapons, and strongly believes that the tragedy caused by the nuclear weapons must never be repeated. We believe that attaining this goal requires taking realistic and practical measures in a progressive manner with the engagement of nuclear-weapon States. This, so called building blocks approach, has gained support gradually from the international community.


As one of these ongoing efforts, Japan, along with many co-sponsors, has once again submitted to this Committee a draft resolution, entitled “United action towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons”, which, we believe, provides a standard-setting on a wide-range of issues related to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. We strongly hope that all UN Member States extend their support to this resolution.


Japan, together with other members of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI) has promoted implementation of the Action Plan in the 2010 NPT Review Conference. The NPDI Foreign Ministers issued the “Hiroshima Statement” this April, which was a fruitful product agreed by twelve members. The diversity of views, I believe, is the strength of our group, which can play a crucial role to form consensus among various states and regional groups. This document could thus provide a middle ground for entire international community on various contentious issues.


Mr. Chairman,


While welcoming the unilateral and bilateral reduction of nuclear warheads taken by some nuclear-weapon States to date, such as France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States, they should evolve to multilateral negotiations on all types of nuclear arsenals involving all five nuclear-weapon States (N5). We urge all nuclear-weapon States, therefore, to take “effective measures” as required by Article VI of the NPT. In this regard, Japan welcomes the N5 process, the most recent of which was held in Beijing in March and will again take place in London early next year to build confidence amongst themselves, and welcomes, as an initial step, the fact that N5 commonly reported the implementation of their disarmament commitments to the 3rd NPT PrepCom this year. Since transparency is an essential foundation for irreversibility and verifiability of nuclear disarmament, Japan urges N5 to continue to report with more numerical information and further enhance their transparency and their standard reporting form particularly by incorporating elements, notably numerical ones, as suggested in NPDI’s draft standard reporting form that was submitted at the 2012 NPT PrepCom. Japan also looks forward to concrete outcomes regarding glossary, which the N5 has been working on under the Chinese chairmanship. Japan hopes these achievements will pave the way towards future, but not so distant future, negotiations for N5 multilateral disarmament.


At the same time, as N5 carry out their tasks, the non-states parties to the NPT should not remain on the side-lines. Japan urges these states to accede to the NPT as non-nuclear-weapon States while encouraging them to immediately start reducing their arsenals and eventually eliminate them.


Mr. Chairman,


The CTBT is an indispensable component towards a world free of nuclear weapons, and it needs to be brought into force as soon as possible. We are encouraged that China has started sending its International Monitoring System (IMS) data to the International Data Centre (IDC) in Vienna. Japan has seized every occasion to urge all States that have not yet signed nor ratified the Treaty, particularly the remaining eight Annex II States, to promptly do so. In this regard, “Friends of the CTBT” organized the Seventh CTBT Ministerial Meeting in New York and adopted a joint ministerial statement calling for early entry into force of the CTBT. Also, we stress the importance of Integrated Field Exercise 14, to be held in Jordan in November this year. Pending the entry into force of the Treaty, it is important for all states possessing nuclear weapons to continue to respect the moratorium on nuclear testing.   


Japan is convinced that an FMCT is one of the most practical building blocks for nuclear disarmament. It is thus deeply regrettable that there are no emerging prospects in the Conference on Disarmament (CD) for negotiations commencing on such a treaty. We welcome the work of the GGE on an FMCT, and strongly hope the outcome of the group will give a new momentum and help the CD begin its substantive work.


The establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones that meet the certain criteria set out in the 1999 UNDC Guidelines contributes to global and regional peace and security.  Japan regrets the Conference on the establishment of a Middle East WMD Free Zone has still not been held. Despite this disappointing situation, we commend the facilitator and co-covenors for their efforts to consult broadly with all relevant stakeholders and we call for the earliest possible convening of a successful conference with all parties in the Middle East to participate in the spirit of genuine and constructive cooperation. In addition, we welcome the signature of the N5 to the Protocol to the Central Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty on 6 May 2014 and commend their efforts to enable themselves to sign the Protocol of the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon Free Zone Treaty.


Mr. Chairman,


In parallel with nuclear disarmament, it is important to strengthen and maintain nuclear non-proliferation to enhance peace and security. Therefore, full implementation of nuclear non-proliferation obligations by the all non-nuclear weapon states is vital for our shared goal.


    The DPRK’s on-going nuclear and missile development is of grave concern not only to Northeast Asia but to the whole international community. Japan once again hereby stresses that the DPRK must abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs, including its uranium enrichment, in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner and must immediately suspend all related activities. Japan strongly urges the DPRK to take concrete actions towards denuclearisation and to refrain from any further provocative acts.


As for the Iranian nuclear issue, Japan hopes that the on-going negotiation between EU3 plus 3 will lead to a final and comprehensive solution. Japan fully supports the role of IAEA in this issue and we urge Iran to implement relevant measures, in particular, the ones related to Possible Military Dimensions.


Mr. Chairman,


Finally, in order to foster momentum for achieving a world free of nuclear weapons, Japan places great emphasis on the significance of spreading awareness of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences across borders and generations. We will continue to fulfill our special mission to convey to the world the facts and reality of the devastation caused by the use of nuclear weapons. The catastrophic humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons should underpin all efforts to succeed in our non-proliferation efforts and to achieve nuclear disarmament in pursuit of a more secure world, particularly through the NPT. Furthermore, it should be inclusive as well as universal and serve as a catalyst for a united global action towards our common goal. In this regard, we were encouraged by the Cuban Ambassador’s statement in the CD on behalf of G21 this September, which stated that the full realization of the catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons must underpin all approaches towards nuclear disarmament, through an inclusive process involving all States. It was a clearly shared position among these countries. With this in mind, Japan supports the spirit of the two joint statements delivered during this committee by Australia and New Zealand on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, and we have joined them. We also firmly maintain the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements, and reaffirm the necessity to continue to employ an appropriate national security policy in line with the backdrop of an increasingly severe security context surrounding us.


I would like to conclude my statement by stressing that Japan is fully committed to achieving a peaceful and secure world free of nuclear weapons. We will continue to steadily promote effective building blocks for global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation in close cooperation with all other UN Member States.


Thank you.