"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Ambassador Sasae's Remarks at the Closing Ceremony

[Date] September 19, 2005
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

Mr. Wu Dawei, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, Honorable Heads of the Delegations, and all the delegates,

At the closing of this Round of the Six-Party Talks, I would like to express my deep appreciation to the Government of China, which as the host country has, as in the previous rounds, provided us with generous hospitality, and also to Vice Minister Wu Dawei, who has, in the spirit of impartiality, exercised strong leadership throughout the Talks as the Chair.

The DPRK's nuclear issue is a serious challenge to the peace and stability of Northeast Asia and to the international non-proliferation regime, which requires a peaceful resolution as a matter of urgency for the entire international community.

This round of the Six-Party Talks has been a marathon negotiation extending over two months including the recess period, but the fact that we have been able to reach an agreement finally on the joint statement that shows the key goals to be achieved by the Six Parties is a significant and concrete result. This marks the first step towards the peaceful settlement of the nuclear issue. As this result could not have been realized without political decisions and contributions of each party, I would like to express my high respect to the considerable efforts extended by each party.

The fact that the DPRK for the first time has made the commitment in this round of the Talks to the verifiable abandonment of all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs lays an important basis to materialize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through the efforts among the Six Parties hereafter. Japan takes serious note of this decision by the DPRK. However, agreeing to a common document does not mean that the solution to our problems has been found. On the contrary, we will have to continue to work to reach a concrete agreement with regard to the implementation of the adopted principles, in particular, concrete procedures and the details of verification measures towards the realization of prompt nuclear abandonment by the DPRK.

In this regard, let me take this opportunity to clarify the position of my delegation regarding "at an appropriate time" in paragraph 6 of section 1. We believe that it is imperative that the DPRK in the first place abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs under credible international verification in order to implement the commitments expressed by the DPRK in this joint statement. It is also imperative that the DPRK fully comply with all the international agreements and norms regarding the use of nuclear energy including the NPT and IAEA safeguards, and build confidence in the international community. When all of the above are met, we will be ready to discuss the subject of the provision of LWR.

In order to promptly achieve our common goals of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the peace and stability of Northeast Asia, it is important for each party to closely and constructively cooperate towards the implementation of the joint statement on the basis of confidence obtained among the parties. Japan will make its utmost efforts while continuously coordinating with the other parties.

In addition, the normalization of the Japan-DPRK relations, along with the normalization of the US-DPRK relations, has been clearly stated in the adopted joint statement as one of the final goals of the Six-Party Talks. Japan intends to resume the dialogue between the governments of Japan and the DPRK at an early date based on the commitment to implement this agreement together with the DPRK. Japan will, while gaining understanding and support from the parties concerned, continue to make maximum efforts towards the realization of the normalization of relations in accordance with the Pyongyang Declaration, on the basis of the settlement of unfortunate past and outstanding issues of concern between Japan and the DPRK, such as, in addition to the nuclear issue, the missile and abduction issues. During this Round, I have held talks with Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye Gwan several times. I believe that these contacts have served the purpose of re-opening the new process to achieve such goals.