"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] Statement by Mr. Hirofumi Nakasone Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Conditions towards Zero--"11 Benchmarks for Global Nuclear Disarmament"--

[Place] Tokyo
[Date] April 27, 2009
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

Today, I have the honor to talk about nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, an issue that is critical to global peace and security. I would like to thank Mr. Yoshiji Nogami, president of the Japan Institute of International Affairs, and his distinguished staff. I renewed my resolve to contribute to global peace and security when I signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions last December.

Recently, I have been strongly feeling a momentum building toward nuclear disarmament for the first time in many years. This momentum has gradually grown since two years ago, when four senior U.S. statesmen, including Former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, contributed an op-ed entitled "A world free of nuclear weapons" to a newspaper.

For its part, Japan, which has proposed a resolution for the total elimination of nuclear weapons to the United Nations General Assembly every year for the past 15 years and has otherwise been engaged in active nuclear disarmament diplomacy, is striving hard to take advantage of the growing momentum. The establishment last September of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament is part of such efforts. My speech today also represents Japan's strong resolve to play the leading role in promoting global nuclear disarmament.

The momentum toward nuclear disarmament grew further because of a speech that U.S. President Barack Obama made in Prague on April 5. I strongly support his clear commitment to taking realistic and concrete steps toward the realization of a peaceful, safe, nuclear-free world.

However, on the very day when President Obama delivered that speech, North Korea launched a missile. North Korea's missile launch, in contravention of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718, is a serious challenge to our regional peace and stability, and it must never be condoned from the viewpoint of non-proliferation. In response to this provocative act, the United Nations Security Council, including Japan, has issued a very clearly- and strongly-worded statement by its President. North Korea's nuclear development, coupled with its ballistic missile development, is posing a serious threat not only to East Asia but to the entire international community. We strongly urge North Korea to take this message from the international community seriously, fully implement the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and agreements of the Six-Party Talks and take concrete actions. We also call on all countries concerned to quickly implement measures included in the Security Council resolutions.

Although Japan developed into a major economic power after World War II, the country has maintained its three non-nuclear principles of not possessing, not producing and not permitting the introduction of nuclear weapons, from the standpoint of being the only country to experience the nuclear devastation, and has strictly committed itself to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Realizing a world free of nuclear weapons is Japan's long-cherished hope. To that end, Japan has been engaging in active nuclear disarmament diplomacy. Japan has every intention to help to build the growing momentum for global and sustainable nuclear disarmament. By doing so, Japan also intends to improve its security environment.

Hoping to bring the 2010 NPT Review Conference to a successful conclusion by all means, I have decided to propose "11 benchmarks" that make clear Japan's views on this issue both to Japanese people and to the world. Today, I will first mention the current situation surrounding nuclear weapons briefly and then propose 11 benchmarks for advancing global nuclear disarmament. These benchmarks are based on three major pillars, which are nuclear disarmament steps by all states holding nuclear weapons, disarmament and non-proliferation measures by the entire international community, namely multilateral measures, and measures for states seeking peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Now, I will talk about the current situation concerning nuclear weapons.

First, I will mention trends in the five nuclear weapons states as defined under the NPT.

Since the end of the Cold War, the role of nuclear weapons in the security strategy between the United States and Russia has significantly diminished. These two countries have sharply reduced deployed strategic nuclear warheads in accordance with START I (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty I) and the Moscow Treaty, (formally known as the Treaty Between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Strategic Offensive Reductions). The United Kingdom and France have also reduced their nuclear arsenals in a transparent manner. However, without transparency in its strategic direction, China is continuing to modernize its nuclear arsenals and has undertaken no nuclear arms reduction until today. Nor does the country disclose any information on its nuclear arsenals.

Secondly, along with North Korea's nuclear development, which I mentioned earlier, the Iranian nuclear issue is an urgent issue to the international community. Iran has continued and expanded uranium enrichment-related activities, failing to meet the requirements of the international community, including the series of United Nations Security Council resolutions. Nobody denies Iran's right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. However, Iran needs to restore the confidence of the international community by complying with the United Nations Security Council resolutions and fostering cooperation with the IAEA.

Third, there are three states that stay outside the NPT, namely India, Pakistan and Israel. The fact that there are seeds of conflict between India and Pakistan, both possessing nuclear weapons while maintaining a moratorium on nuclear testing, is a cause of concern to the world. Israel has not joined the NPT. Japan intends to make patient efforts to persuade these three countries to join the NPT as non-nuclear-weapon States.

Fourth, since the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001, we have also perceived the growing threat of an act of terrorism using weapons of mass destruction. We must by all means prevent nuclear and radioactive material from falling into the hands of terrorists, and the international community needs to be strongly united in efforts to do so.

If the buildup of nuclear arsenals and nuclear proliferation continue, it could raise a variety of nuclear threats that are different from the threat we faced during the Cold War. As Japan suffered nuclear catastrophes in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the country knows the horror of nuclear devastation from its own experience. The international community must make concerted efforts to freeze further nuclear proliferation, sharply decrease the excess stockpiles of nuclear weapons, prevent nuclear terrorism and move toward a world free of nuclear weapons. When we advance nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, it is of course necessary to take into consideration the security environment that we face in reality. In light of the situation in East Asia that I mentioned earlier, it goes without saying that the extended deterrent including nuclear deterrence under the Japan-U.S. security arrangements is of critical importance for Japan. With this viewpoint in mind, I believe that the world has now arrived at a stage where it should consider more specifically a realistic approach to nuclear disarmament whereby international stability will be preserved both in establishing the goal of the world free of nuclear weapons as well as in the process of attaining it while the international regime of nuclear non-proliferation being maintained and even enhanced.

I would like to propose the following 11 benchmarks for promoting "global nuclear disarmament" based on the three major pillars that I mentioned earlier -- nuclear disarmament steps by all states holding nuclear weapons, disarmament and non-proliferation measures by the entire international community, namely multilateral measures, and measures for countries seeking peaceful uses of nuclear energy -- and explain them as concisely as possible. I would appreciate it if you would refer to the materials distributed to you as necessary.

1. Nuclear Disarmament by All States Holding Nuclear Weapons

Under the first pillar, all states holding nuclear weapons, i.e. the five NPT nuclear-weapon States and countries that are yet to accede to the NPT and that hold nuclear weapons, should take concrete measures to significantly reduce their nuclear arsenals. I propose five benchmarks in this regard.

(Leadership of and Cooperation between the United States and Russia)

First is the leadership of and cooperation between the United States and Russia. It is important and one of the keys that the leadership of and cooperation between the United States and Russia, both of which have actively advanced nuclear disarmament so far, are enhanced. Japan welcomes the disarmament measures so far taken by these two countries and supports the idea that they are responsible for exerting their leadership in nuclear weapons reduction. To be more specific, I expect that the United States and Russia will lead the world toward a new security order by holding comprehensive bilateral strategic dialogue to conclude a successor treaty to START I at an early date, further reduce nuclear warheads, build mutual confidence regarding missile defense and strengthen the framework for controlling nuclear weapons and material.

(Nuclear Disarmament by China and the Other States Holding Nuclear Weapons)

Second is nuclear disarmament by China and the other states holding nuclear weapons. It is vital for the promotion of global nuclear disarmament that these countries take nuclear disarmament measures, including the reduction of nuclear weapons, while enhancing transparency over their arsenals. In addition, it is necessary for these countries to freeze the development of nuclear weapons and missiles and other delivery vehicles that would undermine the momentum toward nuclear disarmament while the United States and Russia are making nuclear disarmament efforts. Furthermore, it is important that the nuclear disarmament efforts made by the United Kingdom and France over the past several years will be further enhanced.

(Transparency over Nuclear Arsenals)

Third is ensuring transparency over nuclear armaments. It is necessary to break the vicious circle in which the lack of transparency over nuclear armaments fuels suspicions and worries among neighboring countries, which in turn trigger a military build-up. Dispelling mutual suspicions and building confidence through the enhancement of mutual transparency over military force will help to strengthen regional stability. Therefore, I strongly urge all states holding nuclear weapons to make regular and sufficient information disclosure concerning their own nuclear arsenals, such as the numbers of nuclear weapons, excess nuclear fissile material and delivery vehicles. Also, I would like to propose a new concept of "culture of information disclosure," which the states holding nuclear weapons should work together to nurture.

(Irreversible Nuclear Disarmament)

Fourth is irreversible nuclear disarmament. Nuclear disarmament measures would be useless unless they are irreversible. Japan welcomes nuclear disarmament measures so far taken by some states holding nuclear weapons, such as the dismantlement of nuclear warheads, nuclear testing sites and facilities to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons purposes, and urges the states holding nuclear weapons that have not yet taken such irreversible disarmament measures to implement them.

(Study on Future Verification)

Fifth is a study on future verification of nuclear weapon dismantlement. As reduction of nuclear arsenals proceeds, highly accurate verification of nuclear weapon dismantlement will be required. While proceeding with the verification of nuclear warhead dismantlement, sensitive information concerning nuclear weapons needs to be strictly protected in order to prevent leakage of such information. Japan welcomes the initiative of the United Kingdom and Norway to conduct technical research on this verification approach. Attaching importance to science and technology diplomacy, Japan is ready to contribute to this initiative through cooperation with the relevant Japanese organizations that have relevant expertise in this field.

2. Measures to Be Taken by the Entire International Community (Multilateral Measures)

The second pillar consists of measures to be taken by the entire international community, namely multilateral measures. In order to realize a world free of nuclear weapons, it is necessary that while states holding nuclear weapons engage in nuclear disarmament, the entire international community adopts and complies with universal norms for disarmament and non-proliferation. I propose three multilateral measures as benchmarks.

(Ban on Nuclear Tests)

First is a ban on nuclear tests. I welcome the new U.S. administration's positive stance toward the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, or the CTBT. I hope that the United States will ratify this treaty before the 2010 NPT Review Conference. Japan will work with China, India, Pakistan and other countries whose ratifications are necessary for the treaty's entry-into-force for their early ratification of the CTBT, and will draw up "a program to promote the early entry-into-force of the CTBT", which is to make demarches on early ratification and to contribute to the establishment of a global verification system. With the aim of helping such countries realize ratification of the CTBT, Japan will provide technical training for seismology experts from relevant countries. Furthermore, Japan calls for a moratorium on nuclear tests, pending the entry into force of the CTBT.

(Ban on Production of Fissile Material for Nuclear Weapon Purposes)

Second is a ban on the production of fissile material for weapon purposes. Negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty, which bans the production of highly enriched uranium and plutonium that are used for nuclear weapons, have not yet started. The international community should commence immediate negotiations on this treaty and impose quantitative limitation on nuclear weapons. I also strongly urge all countries to declare a moratorium to freeze the production of fissile material for weapon purposes pending the conclusion of this treaty.

(Restrictions on Ballistic Missiles)

Third is restrictions on ballistic missiles capable of delivering a nuclear warhead. As in the case of North Korea, the development of ballistic missiles has been a source of suspicions and tensions in regions around the world, including Northeast Asia. Under this circumstances, Japan supports the globalization of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between the United States and Russia, and the EU's move to propose a treaty to ban short- and intermediate-range-ground-to-ground missiles. The international community should place increased priority on considering how to impose effective global restrictions concerning ballistic missiles.

3. Measures to Support Countries Promoting Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy

In addition to promoting the global disarmament and non-proliferation efforts I mentioned just now, it is also important to promote peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In recent years, an increasing number of countries have shown interest in introducing or expanding nuclear power generation from the viewpoint of energy security and the fight against global warming. Needless to say, when promoting peaceful uses of nuclear energy, it is important to ensure nuclear non-proliferation, prevent nuclear terrorism and ensure nuclear safety. This is the third pillar, and I propose three benchmarks in this regard.

(International Cooperation for Civil Nuclear Energy)

First is to promote international cooperation for civil nuclear energy. Japan took an approach, called "3S", referring to safeguards, nuclear safety, and nuclear security and is striving to make the importance of "3S" an international common understanding. Japan intends to help countries in newly introducing nuclear power plants to do so in a way that ensures the 3S. Japan has been supporting human resource development and capacity building, in particular, in Asian countries newly introducing nuclear plants. Japan, in cooperation with the IAEA, plans to host an international conference in Tokyo this autumn on nuclear security related to Asian countries, particularly those introducing nuclear power plants. This will be the second such conference, after the one in 2006, also in Tokyo, whose outcome was highly appreciated.

In addition, Japan is making active contributions to the international debate about the assurance of nuclear fuel supply, for example by proposing the establishment of a system for the registration of individual countries' nuclear fuel supply capacities with the IAEA.

(IAEA Safeguards)

Second is the IAEA safeguards. Japan believes that it is important to enhance transparency over the nuclear activities of individual countries by ensuring that all countries promoting peaceful uses of nuclear energy implement the highest level of the IAEA safeguards, specifically, the NPT Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements and the Model Additional Protocol, and Japan has been actively working towards their universalization. On various occasions, including the IAEA seminars and the Asian Senior-level Talks on Non-Proliferation, Japan has shared its knowledge and experiences concerning the implementation of the IAEA safeguards with other countries. Japan will continue such efforts.

(Prevention of nuclear terrorism)

Third is nuclear security. As I mentioned earlier, we need to deal with the threat of nuclear terrorism. To prevent nuclear terrorism, it is essential to enhance the management of not only nuclear power plants and related nuclear fuel cycle facilities but also the control of all nuclear and radioactive material. Japan welcomes President Obama's proposal to make a new international efforts to strengthen the control of nuclear material and host a "Global Summit on Nuclear Security." Japan will cooperate with the United States in efforts to bring this global summit to a successful conclusion.

Japan will do its utmost so that the 11 benchmarks for global nuclear disarmament that I mentioned can be accomplished. In particular, we plan to propose these benchmarks at the 2010 NPT Review Conference and foster a favorable environment for a successful conclusion of this Conference. Meanwhile, I hope that the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, which I mentioned at the beginning of my speech and which is co-chaired by former Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi and former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, will draw up a set of realistic, action-oriented proposals that will guide all countries toward a world free of nuclear weapons at its final meeting scheduled to be held in Hiroshima this autumn. Japan appreciates the initiative that the Australian government exerted in the establishment of this International Commission and will continue to provide as much support as possible to the Commission.

In one scene of a blockbuster movie released last year, the hero survived a nuclear blast by hiding inside a refrigerator. I was surprised at the soft image about nuclear blasts that was indicated by this scene. A nuclear blast would destroy everything in an instant. I was worried that such a naive perception could spread worldwide. Japan is the only country that can communicate the devastation of a nuclear bombing to future generations based on first-hand experiences of an actual nuclear attack. Through the United Nations Programme of Fellowships on Disarmament, Japan has invited more than 650 diplomats from various countries to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and many participants in this programme are now occupying key posts responsible for promoting nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation policies in national governments. I believe it is Japan's mission to convey to all people around the world the facts of the calamity of nuclear bombings that happened in August 1945 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, across the boundaries of various political viewpoints and ideologies.

It is nearly a decade since the end of the 20th century, which was a century of wars. Whether or not future generations can live in a world free of nuclear weapons depends largely on the results of what we are doing now to tackle the challenge ahead of us. I am pleased to announce that to rally international efforts in this area, Japan is planning to host an international conference early next year to encourage concerted actions by the international community to promote global nuclear disarmament. I would like to tentatively name this conference "The 2010 Nuclear Disarmament Conference". As the Foreign Minister of the only country to experience the devastation of nuclear bombings, I would be most delighted if the outcome of this conference, together with the 11 benchmarks that I proposed, led to a successful conclusion of the 2010 NPT Review Conference and helped us take a great step toward nuclear disarmament.

Thank you very much for your kind attention.