STATEMENT BY MRS. HISAMI KUROKOCHI
REPRESENTATIVE OF JAPAN
ON ITEM 65: COMPREHENSIVE TEST-BAN TREATY
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
9 SEPTEMBER 1996
On behalf of the Government of Japan, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to you for calling for this resumed session of the United Nations General Assembly. My delegation will spare no effort to cooperate with you as you discharge your important duties at this meeting of historical significance.
The government of Japan has been strongly advocating a nuclear test ban treaty in the United Nations for decades, and it participated with determination in the negotiations on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in Geneva.
The draft treaty text of the CTBT, which we have been seeking for such a long time, is finally before us. If we adopt this treaty now, we can make nuclear test explosions illegal forever, in any environment. If we fail to do so, we will not have a CTBT in the foreseeable future. Therefore, the choice we are faced with is whether we have a CTBT or not.
The draft CTBT text is not a perfect one. I am fully aware that very few countries are entirely satisfied with it. We are sympathetic with those who ask why we can not improve the text as we would like.
However, this is the only attainable text of a CTBT after two and a half years of negotiations. All five nuclear weapon States, Pakistan and Israel, and a large majority of countries have expressed their support for this text. Any amendment on this text, or any other version of a draft CTBT could not enjoy the support from all of the five nuclear weapon states. If we do not support this draft treaty text, we will have nothing more than a "voluntary moratorium" by the nuclear weapon States. We have before us the opportunity to have a legal commitment by these states to stop nuclear testing for all time.
The CTBT prohibits all nuclear weapon test explosions and all other nuclear explosions. This will constrain the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons and end the development of advanced new types of nuclear weapons. Once we have the CTBT and thus establish an international norm of the prohibition of nuclear testing, even a country remaining outside of the Treaty cannot ignore a significant political deterrence against such testing. The CTBT, in this way, contributes to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation worldwide.
Last year, in resolution 50/65, the General Assembly called upon the Conference on Disarmament to conclude a comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty. Regrettably, there was no consensus in the Conference on Disarmament to forward the negotiated treaty text on to the General Assembly.
However, in operative paragraph 6 of the same resolution, the General Assembly declares its readiness to resume consideration of this item, as necessary, before its fifty-first session in order to endorse the text of a comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty. The resolution does not mention that the General Assembly must endorse a text which was agreed upon in Geneva. It is clear that with this resolution the General Assembly commits itself to resume its consideration, as necessary, regardless the outcome of the negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament. And it is crystal clear that now is the time that the General Assembly must act.
In conclusion, Japan as one of the co-sponsors of the draft resolution A/50/L.78, strongly urges all UN member States to lend their support to this draft resolution and the draft treaty text A/50/1027.