"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] Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation Policy Speech by H.E. Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, at "Dialogue with Foreign Minister Kishida"

[Place] Nagasaki University
[Date] January 20, 2014
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

1.    Introduction

I have always had an affection for Nagasaki as a person who is from Hiroshima, the only other city to have suffered the atomic bomb. And as I understand, Nagasaki University is the successor to Nagasaki Medical College, which is the only college of medicine in the world to have endured the effects of the atomic bomb. With this historical background, I have learned that the Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition was established at Nagasaki University in 2012 under the leadership of President Shigeru Katamine. As the first research center in Japan with "nuclear weapons abolition" in its name, the Center is conducting extensive academic research and making various proposals to contribute toward "a world free of nuclear weapons". I would like to take this opportunity to express my respect to Nagasaki University for such efforts, and I feel honored to have been given this opportunity and thankful to speak about nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation issues here today.

Last year, on December 17th, the Government of Japan adopted the National Security Strategy to collect the basics of diplomatic relations and security. As is clearly stated in this Strategy, Japan will contribute even more proactively in securing peace, stability, and prosperity of the international community as a "Proactive Contributor to Peace" based on the principle of international cooperation. And in this context, as the only country to have ever suffered atomic bombings in war, Japan will continue to engage in disarmament and non-proliferation efforts, and play a leading role in international initiatives to achieve the goal of "a world free of nuclear weapons". This was clearly stated in the Strategy.

Because I was born in a city victimized by the atomic bomb, efforts to achieve the goal of "a world free of nuclear weapons" have been my life's work. Since being appointed as Foreign Minister, I have tackled this issue with a particularly strong emotional attachment.

The first opportunity for me to address this issue was at the 6th Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI) held at The Hague last April. Established in September 2010 on the occasion of the high level week of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, under the initiative of Japan and Australia, the NPDI is a cross-regional group of countries in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation that do not possess nuclear weapons. Presently, twelve countries belong to this framework.

In June last year, I launched a program titled "Youth Communicator for a World without Nuclear Weapons", which aims to pass knowledge from those who have experienced tragedies resulting from the use of nuclear weapons to younger generations. As you may know, Japan has actively contributed for years to disseminating the realities of the tragedies caused by the use of nuclear weapons to the world by dispatching atomic survivors as "Special Communicators for a World without Nuclear Weapons". I have always held the opinion that we must make sure that these efforts are inherited by the younger generations. From Nagasaki, I commissioned five high school students as Youth Communicators for a World without Nuclear Weapons in August last year. I still vividly recall the lively faces of those students.

In August, I attended the Peace Memorial Ceremonies in both Nagasaki and Hiroshima, which was the first time that a Foreign Minister has done so, and I renewed my resolution for "a world free of nuclear weapons". Then, in September last year, at the High-level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on nuclear disarmament in New York, I presented Japan's efforts towards achieving the goal of "a world without nuclear weapons".

In the year 2014, there will continue to be important opportunities for Japan's disarmament and non-proliferation policy. First, the NPDI Ministerial Meeting will be held in Hiroshima on April 12th. Afterwards, from April 28th for two weeks, the Third Session of the Preparatory Committee for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference (3rd PrepCom) will take place in New York.

Keeping these important diplomatic events in mind, today I will present my comprehensive thoughts on Japan's overall nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation policy based on my experience as Foreign Minister throughout the past year.

2.    Global Situation concerning Nuclear Weapons

Before presenting my thoughts regarding Japan's policy, briefly looking back in history, I would like to begin with the current global situation concerning nuclear weapons.

Sixty-nine years ago a single atomic bomb took away a great number of beloved lives in Nagasaki, following the bomb drop on Hiroshima. The Cold War between two blocs headed by the United States (U.S.) and the Soviet Union began and a fierce nuclear arms race commenced. As a child, I felt a deep fear that a nuclear war might break out at any given time. At one point during the Cold War, some sources say that there were more than 70,000 nuclear weapons worldwide.

Compared to those times, in today's post-Cold War era, I think, it is true that a smaller number of people fear that a nuclear war might break out at any moment. Moreover, the role of nuclear weapons in the international community has been significantly reduced. A nuclear-weapon state incorporates reducing the role of nuclear weapons as an important item in its nuclear strategy documents.

Furthermore, the number of nuclear weapons has been substantially reduced since the time of the 70,000 estimation. In April 2009, in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, U.S. President Barack Obama stated his commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. Following that speech, the U.S. concluded the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with Russia that requires a substantial reduction of strategic nuclear warheads. In June last year, in Berlin, President Obama announced that he was prepared to reduce deployed strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third by seeking negotiated cuts with Russia.

Reviewing history in this way, it is evident that progress has been made towards nuclear disarmament to a certain extent.

Then, what are current problems on the issue of nuclear weapons?

When we think of issues concerning nuclear weapons, there are two concepts of "nuclear disarmament" and "nuclear non-proliferation". Simply put, "nuclear disarmament" means reducing and ultimately abolishing nuclear weapons, while "nuclear non-proliferation" means preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. If we use these concepts, the current situation is such that the progress of nuclear disarmament is still insufficient and also that the problem of nuclear weapons proliferation is becoming more serious.

First, regarding nuclear disarmament, while the number of nuclear weapons, which is thought to have peaked at more than 70,000, has largely decreased since the end of the Cold War, there are reportedly still over 17,000 nuclear weapons worldwide, and this progress cannot be considered fast enough. While the number of nuclear weapons is steadily being reduced based on bilateral agreements between the U.S. and Russia, nuclear disarmament negotiations need to continue. Furthermore, it has been observed that there is a continued lack of transparency in the nuclear force build-up.

Next, regarding the issue of proliferation of nuclear weapons, concerns related to proliferation, including nuclear development by North Korea, the Iranian nuclear issue and the proliferation of nuclear-weapon-related sensitive materials and technologies, are becoming increasingly serious. To give a few examples, in Northeast Asia, North Korea conducted the third nuclear test in February last year following the tests in 2006 and 2009. North Korea has not yet ceased its nuclear and missile development, which could serve as nuclear weapon delivery systems. What is more, efforts to proliferate materials and technologies related to nuclear weapons development are becoming craftier each day, and many have pointed out the possibility of nuclear weapons and materials being stolen and used by terrorists.

Furthermore, we must be attentive to the possibility of the use or threat of nuclear weapons in regional conflicts. Indeed, there have been times in the past when such concerns were raised in the South Asian region.

In this way, the world's nuclear risks are diversifying. At the regional level, this is a factor causing instability, and at the global level it is weakening the international disarmament and non-proliferation regimes. As nuclear risks diversify, Japan is of the view that it must take the lead in international efforts of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation based on the following two notions.

First, we should have a clear understanding of the humanitarian aspects of the use of nuclear weapons. Japan has the experience of being the only country to have suffered the use of atomic weapons during the war, which should be shared among all the people of Japan. Japan has the responsibility to convey the tragedies that result from the use of nuclear weapons and to lead the efforts of the international community in the disarmament field toward achieving the goal of "a world free of nuclear weapons". In other words, the first notion is a clear understanding of inhumanity of nuclear weapons.

Second, we should objectively assess the reality of today's international community, which is facing increasingly diverse nuclear risks. Leading the efforts of the international community toward nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation must be balanced with measures to address the severe security environment. This includes the threat posed by the progress of nuclear and missile development by North Korea, the future trends in the balance of nuclear forces in the Asia-Pacific region, and maintaining credibility of extended deterrence under the Japan-U.S. Alliance regarding the rapid progress in military technology. In other words, the second notion is an objective assessment of the reality of this current severe security environment, in which we need to ensure the lives and the properties of our nationals.

Under such conditions, to achieve the goal of "a world free of nuclear weapons", we must advance both nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation at the same time, along with the two important notions I spoke of as the foundation. If progress is made in nuclear disarmament alone, it will become meaningless if new nuclear weapon states arise. At the same time, even if the emergence of new nuclear weapon states is prevented, we will move no closer to "a world free of nuclear weapons" without advances in nuclear disarmament. Nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation are truly inseparable like "two wheels of a cart" – we cannot move forward if either of the two is missing.

This way of thinking is embodied in the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The NPT bans non-nuclear-weapon States from possessing nuclear weapons, and it prohibits the nuclear-weapon States from transferring nuclear weapons to other states while obliging them to pursue nuclear disarmament negotiations in good faith. The NPT aims to advance disarmament while simultaneously advancing non-proliferation.

So far, I have provided an overview of the current state of the world concerning nuclear weapons. Now, I will explain Japan's efforts towards "nuclear non-proliferation" and then "nuclear disarmament". Then, finally, I will once again explain Japan's basic thinking towards "a world free of nuclear weapons".

3.    Nuclear Non-proliferation – "Three Preventions"

To achieve the goal of "a world free of nuclear weapons", the spread of nuclear weapons must be prevented. Specifically, efforts for nuclear non-proliferation are essential. These efforts are designed to prevent the emergence of new nuclear weapon states as well as circumstances that lead to the emergence of such countries. Today, as a new concept to Japanese Government policy in the field of nuclear non-proliferation, I would like to introduce what we call "Three Preventions": (1) prevention of the emergence of new nuclear weapon states, (2) prevention of the proliferation of nuclear-weapons-related materials and technologies, and (3) prevention of nuclear terrorism.

(1) Prevention of the Emergence of new nuclear weapon states

The first pillar of this new concept is the prevention of the emergence of new nuclear weapon states. Preventing the emergence of new nuclear weapon states is one of the most important pillars of Japan's non-proliferation policy. In this context, I must touch upon North Korea's nuclear and missile development which poses a grave and direct threat to Japan. Despite its own commitment under the 19 September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks to "abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs" and to "returning, at an early date, to the NPT and to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards," North Korea is not only continuing nuclear and missile development, but has not yet taken concrete actions toward denuclearization. In coordination with the U.S., the Republic of Korea and other countries concerned, Japan strongly urges North Korea to take concrete actions toward its denuclearization. In addition, we must make North Korea recognize that the continuation of nuclear and missile programs are not in its interest. We must also create an international environment which renders their nuclear development physically difficult. In light of these, it is extremely important that the international community steadily implement related sanction measures against North Korea. To this end, Japan continues urging the UN Member States to stringently implement relevant UN Security Council Resolutions regarding North Korea. Moreover, we must not forget to maintain readiness for North Korea's provocations. In that regard, we must make ceaseless efforts to maintain and strengthen the deterrent capabilities of the Japan-U.S. Alliance for the peace and security of Japan.

Additionally, the Iranian nuclear issue is also a matter of concern for Japan. I visited Tehran in November 2013 as the Japanese Foreign Minister for the first time after four and a half years in which I strongly urged Iran to ratify the IAEA Additional Protocol, which imposes strengthened inspections, and to fully cooperate with the IAEA in order to show the international community that their nuclear activities are peaceful. I also specifically proposed early ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which prohibits nuclear tests at all places including underground testing. In November 2013, Iran reached an agreement with concerned countries on concrete measures to be taken, including the suspension of 20 per cent uranium enrichment. Japan welcomes this agreement as the first step toward a comprehensive solution, and we also emphasize its prompt implementation. Japan has historically had a good relationship with Iran even before the nuclear issue became an international problem. Japan will, in coordination with the international community, continue to be actively engaged in international efforts, from its own standpoint, in an effort for Iran to remove the concerns of the international community and to achieve a final and comprehensive resolution on the issue.

Along with these individual concerns related to nuclear non-proliferation, it is important to enhance international non-proliferation regimes. A fundamental component in the international non-proliferation regime is the IAEA safeguards which serve as practical measures to detect diversion of peaceful nuclear activities to military uses as well as to detect clandestine nuclear activities. Japan is determined to promote various endeavors to further strengthen the IAEA safeguards. As the country receiving the greatest number of IAEA inspections in the world and one of the pioneers in peaceful uses of nuclear energy, Japan is well placed to make contributions in this field. With this longstanding knowledge and experience, we will continue to work with the international community so that all concerned countries conclude the Additional Protocol for safeguards to be further strengthened. Furthermore, Japan will strive to make concrete contributions in such fields as providing assistance to countries that need to establish national systems for safeguard implementation, training inspectors for the next generation, the institutionalization of knowledge and the research and development of safeguard related technologies.

We are determined to, through the promotion of these measures, prevent the emergence of any new nuclear weapon state in the international community.

(2) Prevention of the Proliferation of Nuclear-Weapons-Related Materials and Technologies

The second pillar of this policy is prevention of the proliferation of materials and technologies that could contribute to nuclear weapons development. In order to prevent the emergence of new nuclear weapon states, it is important, in addition to what I mentioned above, to implement export control for the prevention of procurement of nuclear-related materials by parties pursuing the possession of nuclear weapons.

In recent years, along with their economic development, Asian countries have been acquiring the capacity to produce materials and technologies that could be diverted to the development of nuclear weapons as well as missiles as a means of delivery. Meanwhile, there is an increased risk that these countries export such materials and technologies to countries of concern without recognizing that they could be diverted to nuclear weapons development. There is also a risk that these countries could be exploited as a "loophole" for the procurement of nuclear-related materials by North Korea or Iran. Furthermore, such illegal procurement activities are becoming increasingly sophisticated, utilizing front companies and making use of transit points in Asia. It is therefore of grave concern that the risk of Asian countries unintentionally getting involved in the proliferation is increasing like never before. It is more important than ever to strengthen the export control system in Asian countries, given the high risk that countries with insufficient export controls could be exploited as a "loophole" for nuclear-related material procurement activities by North Korea or Iran.

It is also a fact, however, that there still exists recognition among Asian countries that export controls could impede trade and investment, and therefore, non-proliferation efforts may pose obstacles to economic growth. With this in mind, Japan is determined to reinforce the international non-proliferation network by strengthening diplomatic cooperation with like-minded countries, such as the U.S. and Australia. Japan will work tirelessly to explain to Asian countries the "strategic effects of export control", in other words, how strengthening export controls fosters confidence in the reliability of trade or investment partners, and creates a favorable environment for further economic growth rather than impeding trade and investment. Japan will also continue to make efforts to improve the capacity of Asian countries in this field and will further enhance coordination and cooperation with them.

(3) Prevention of Nuclear Terrorism

The third pillar is the prevention of nuclear terrorism. So far, I have mentioned preventing states from acquiring nuclear weapons and related materials and technologies. Lately, it is also extremely important to prevent "nuclear terrorism", which is an act of terror by non-state actors, such as terrorist organizations utilizing nuclear and other radioactive materials.

In recent years, the energy demand of the international community has been expanding along with the economic development of various countries, and the number of countries using nuclear energy is increasing. The use of radioactive materials has also been growing in various fields such as medicine, food production, and industry. This global expansion of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy consequently increases the actual risk of nuclear terrorism. I believe that Japan must play an active role to prevent nuclear terrorism.

You can easily imagine what would happen if a terrorist attacks a nuclear power plant, or if nuclear or other radioactive materials are used as tools for terrorism. It would not only threaten the lives, livelihoods and properties of the Japanese people, but also have a huge political, economic and social impact regionally and globally for a long time.

Thus, reinforcing measures to protect against nuclear terrorism, or in other words, strengthening nuclear security is important from the following three perspectives: (1) Japan's national security, (2) maintaining public order, and (3) promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Strengthening nuclear security is essential, domestically and internationally. I believe that if many countries build and strengthen their capacity to counter nuclear terrorism, confidence building among nations will be promoted in the field of international security.

Then, what should we do to improve nuclear security? Strengthening nuclear security systems is essential for Japan as well as other countries to prevent nuclear terrorism. To this end, it is important as a foundation to foster security culture and raise awareness on nuclear security among all stakeholders, and to firmly establish the required rules and norms. As part of this approach, it is significant for each country to conclude relevant international legal instruments, and nationally implement the recommendations of the IAEA nuclear security guidelines. At the same time, sharing good practices on measures to protect against nuclear terrorism among countries and learning from each other are also of value. Japan will continue making such efforts. In this regard, Japan established the Integrated Support Center for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security (ISCN) under the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) in 2010, which has accumulated expertise regarding nuclear security. In particular, Japan has been and will continue utilizing this center to provide knowledge to other countries that do not necessarily have the capacity to advance nuclear terrorism prevention and countermeasures.

In this context, we should not forget the Nuclear Security Summit to be held in The Hague in March this year. Through various international fora, including this Summit where the Heads of State will discuss measures to protect against nuclear terrorism, Japan will continue to actively contribute to strengthening global nuclear security and counter-terrorism activities as one of the countries with the most advanced nuclear technology. As I mentioned earlier, Japan has extensive experience in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy as well as high-standard technologies and personnel. I firmly believe Japan should demonstrate its leadership in this field. Also, Japan has experienced a major nuclear accident. It is Japan's duty having undergone such an accident to share the experiences of the lessons learned with other countries and to make use of them in order to strengthen international nuclear security. The Government of Japan is working to enhance mid/long-term nuclear security, taking into account the G8 Summit 2016, which will be held in Japan and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. These efforts are also consistent with the Strategy to Make "Japan the Safest Country in the World" which was recently approved by the Cabinet, and I believe Japan's efforts will lead to strengthening nuclear security and preventing nuclear terrorism in Asia and the world.

4.    Nuclear Disarmament – "Three Reductions"

While preventing nuclear proliferation as I have touched upon thus far as "Three Preventions", our final goal is nuclear disarmament – to reduce and eventually abolish nuclear weapons. As realistic and concrete steps towards "a world free of nuclear weapons", Japan advocates "Three Reductions": (1) reduction of the number of nuclear weapons, (2) reduction of the role of nuclear weapons, and (3) reduction of the incentive for possession of nuclear weapons.

(1) Reduction of the Number of Nuclear Weapons

To begin with, reducing the number of nuclear weapons is necessary above all else toward the goal of "a world free of nuclear weapons". In this regard, it is important that all NPT nuclear-weapon States fulfill their obligation under the NPT to pursue nuclear disarmament negotiations in good faith.

From this perspective, Japan welcomes President Obama's speech in Berlin. We hope this speech will lead to progress in negotiations on a comprehensive reduction of nuclear weapons including strategic and non-strategic nuclear weapons as well as deployed and non-deployed nuclear weapons through dialogue and cooperation between the U.S. and Russia. We also expect further progress in confidence building regarding missile defense and in cooperation for strengthening nuclear materials control systems. Moreover, Japan calls for a global reduction, not only in Europe, of non-strategic nuclear weapons.

To achieve the goal of "a world free of nuclear weapons", nuclear disarmament negotiations between the U.S. and Russia must develop into multilateral negotiations with other states possessing nuclear weapons, including the United Kingdom, France, and China based on the nuclear disarmament obligations of the NPT. Until multilateral negotiations are launched and concluded, we urge these countries at the very least not to increase nuclear forces from their present levels.

Increasing the transparency of nuclear forces is also essential to reducing the number of nuclear weapons. With poor transparency, it is impossible to verify if nuclear disarmament is actually implemented, and likewise impossible to confirm that disarmament measures are irreversible. All States holding nuclear weapons must strive for greater disclosure of information on nuclear forces including the number of nuclear warheads in their possession and their delivery systems.

In this regard, the Action Plan adopted at the 2010 NPT Review Conference encourages all the nuclear-weapon States to agree on a standard reporting form to report on their nuclear disarmament measures. In order to facilitate the drafting of the form by the nuclear-weapon States, the NPDI proposed a draft standard reporting form in 2012. We expect all the nuclear-weapon States to agree on a standard reporting form and conduct substantive reporting on their nuclear disarmament measures at the Third Session of the Preparatory Committee of the 2015 NPT Review Conference

(3rd PrepCom) to be held from April 28th.

In order to strengthen the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, along with reinforcing the NPT regime, it is necessary to develop a subsequent legal framework at an early date. In this light, it is important to achieve the early signing and ratification of the CTBT by States whose ratifications are required for the CTBT to enter into force (Annex 2 States). Only 36 out of 44 Annex 2 States have ratified the Treaty. The immediate commencement of negotiations and the conclusion of a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT), which completely bans the production of materials for nuclear weapons such as plutonium and highly enriched uranium is also important as it is viewed as the next international nuclear disarmament treaty to follow the CTBT.

Last November, I met with Dr. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs invited him to Japan. I understand that he also gave a lecture here at Nagasaki University and engaged in lively discussions with students. I would like to take this opportunity to announce that Japan has recently decided to provide 455,000 U.S. dollars to support monitoring systems to detect nuclear tests and the activities of the Group of Eminent Persons led by Dr. Zerbo for promoting the CTBT's entry into force. Japan also serves as the Chair of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission this year, and in this capacity Japan will actively contribute to facilitating the early entry into force of the CTBT and the development of verification systems.

In regards to strengthening the NPT regime, Japan calls on the States not party to the NPT to accede to it as non-nuclear-weapon States. Japan also calls on these States to contribute to the international disarmament and non-proliferation regime by strengthening their respective disarmament efforts and non-proliferation measures even during the process of acceding to the NPT.

(2) Reduction of the Role of Nuclear Weapons

Secondly, the reduction of the role of nuclear weapons is also necessary along with decreasing the number of nuclear weapons to move toward the goal of "a world free of nuclear weapons". From a historical perspective, it is certain that the role of nuclear weapons has significantly declined in this post-Cold-War 21st Century. At the same time, however, in the world where nuclear risk is diversifying, it is also true that there are regions where the role of nuclear weapons is increasing. To ensure the safety and security of humanity, along with additional reductions in the number of nuclear weapons, it is important to further narrow the role of nuclear weapons in national security policies

and military doctrines of the countries possessing nuclear weapons. Reducing the role of nuclear weapons is also expected to have a synergistic effect leading to confidence building and reduction in the number of nuclear weapons.

Concretely, Japan calls upon the NPT nuclear-weapon States to pledge not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States that are in compliance with their non-proliferation obligations under the NPT. Furthermore, some states holding nuclear weapons appear to keep a wide range of possibilities for the use of nuclear weapons. Of course, any situation in the future where nuclear weapons are used again, which could cause catastrophic damage to mankind, must never happen. Having said that, states possessing nuclear weapons should aim to eventually achieve "a world free of nuclear weapons", first starting with reducing the role of nuclear weapons by declaring that consideration should be limited only in extreme circumstances based on the right of individual or collective self-defense. We expect all the nuclear-weapon States to report at the 3rd PrepCom on the reduction of the role of nuclear weapons by making the most of the standard reporting form proposed by the NPDI.

At the same time, declaratory policy on the role of nuclear weapons itself is not sufficient to establish trust. Rather, States holding nuclear weapons must also review their deployment postures of nuclear weapons so that they are consistent with their declared policies.

I also believe that reducing the role of nuclear weapons can be achieved through further universalization of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and the total elimination of the threat of these weapons of mass destruction.

(3) Reduction of the Incentive for Possession of the Nuclear Weapons

Thirdly, to achieve the goal of "a world free of nuclear weapons" in a steady manner, along with reducing the number and the role of nuclear weapons currently in existence, it is necessary to remove the motivation and incentive to develop and possess nuclear weapons in the first place. If the factors that necessitate the possession of nuclear weapons disappear, it seems to be clear that nuclear weapons will naturally decrease. For example, if the role of nuclear weapons declines in political aspects in addition to security aspects, the incentive for additional countries to obtain nuclear weapons will decline, and vice-versa. The possession of nuclear weapons against international norms has a negative effect on a country's status and reputation, and generates no positive results. It is important to spread this understanding throughout the international community. We will broadly share the fact that countries which are developing nuclear weapons against international norms have been isolated from the international community, received sanctions, and have been left out from economic activities. It is also important to deepen the discussion on countermeasure for non-compliance and withdrawal from the NPT.

To reduce the motivation to develop nuclear weapons, it is important to foster trust through regional stabilization and resolving regional disputes. When nuclear issues are addressed, regional issues should also be tackled in addition to advancing nuclear disarmament negotiations between the U.S. and Russia as well as negotiations of global disarmament treaties such as the CTBT.

Japan has made diverse diplomatic efforts including cooperation in peace building through the UN Peacekeeping Operations and Official Development Assistance, as well as contributing to discussions on peace-building strategies at the UN Peacebuilding Commission. It is important to make use of these experiences to contribute to regional peace and easing tensions.

For example, Japan, together with the international community plays its own role in the Middle East issue, which is often raised in the nuclear disarmament context. Japan is making efforts such as political demarches, assistance for Palestine's state-building efforts, and confidence building measures. In the Middle East, it is also important to achieve the goal to establish a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction. Although the 2010 NPT Review Conference endorsed to convene a conference on this topic in 2012, it has not yet been convened. Japan proposes to hold this conference at an early date. Also, Japan must make efforts toward a resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue. In view of promoting the disarmament of weapons of mass destruction from this region, Japan contributed 1.5 billion yen (18 million US dollars) to the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in order to support international efforts toward the elimination of chemical weapons of Syria. Also, as a practical step toward the establishment of the zone, Japan encourages countries in the region to ratify the CTBT at an early date.

5.    Discussions on Nuclear Weapons from the Humanitarian Point of View

I have just presented "Three Preventions" for nuclear non-proliferation and "Three Reductions" for nuclear disarmament. I would now like to touch upon the discussions on nuclear weapons from the humanitarian point of view, or a humanitarian aspect of nuclear weapons, which has been more actively addressed by the international community in recent years. As I explained earlier, the humanitarian aspect of nuclear weapons, which is one of the two notions together with an objective assessment of a severe security environment, has always been an important factor emphasized by the Government of Japan long before its discussion became more active.

As the only country to have suffered from atomic bombings in war, it is Japan's mission to continue to convey the tragedies of the use of atomic weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki across generations and borders. I believe that building consensus on this theme in the international community will contribute to meeting the expectations of Hibakushas, atomic bomb survivors. Above all, it is important to hold a universal and open discussion concerning this issue. For this purpose, I will call on the international community to acknowledge the importance of this issue based on the following three important approaches.

First, considering the humanitarian aspect of nuclear weapons should be a catalyst for uniting the international community toward the considerable goal of "a world free of nuclear weapons". The humanitarian aspect of nuclear weapons must be considered under any approach to nuclear disarmament. We must aim for "a world free of nuclear weapons" because we recognize the humanitarian aspect of nuclear weapons, and we must advance various efforts simultaneously toward that goal while addressing diverse nuclear risks. In order to share these feelings with other countries we must keep in mind the importance of the humanitarian aspect.

Second, to accelerate the momentum of nuclear disarmament toward "a world free of nuclear weapons", it is necessary to spread awareness of the humanitarian aspect of nuclear weapons across generations and borders. In particular, disarmament and non-proliferation education, a field where Japan has led the international community, must be further advanced. "The Youth Communicators for a World without Nuclear Weapons" is a good example of a project to spread awareness across generations and borders. Translating testimonies of Hibakushas, who are growing old, into as many languages as possible and conveying these to the world is also an urgent issue. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shares testimonies in English, French, Chinese, Russian and Spanish, and also in Hindi, Urdu, Indonesian, Ukrainian, Romanian and other languages which are available on its website.

Third, along with spreading awareness of the humanitarian aspect of nuclear weapons, it is also important to deepen our knowledge about its scientific aspects. I think the International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons held in March last year in Oslo and the International Conference that will take place in Mexico in February this year are opportunities to deepen our knowledge on the scientific aspects. Following the Oslo Conference, the Government of Japan will participate in and contribute to the Conference in Mexico to introduce Japan's accumulated medical knowledge as the only country to have suffered atomic bombings in wartime.

Precisely because Japan knows more about the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons than any other country, Japan has led the efforts of the international community toward "a world free of nuclear weapons". At the First Committee of the UN General Assembly last October, Japan joined the joint statements concerning this issue delivered by New Zealand and Australia, respectively. In April this year, at the NPDI Ministerial Meeting that will be held in Hiroshima, Foreign Ministers from participating countries will directly see the realities from the bombing. Furthermore, Japan intends to hold substantive discussions including on the humanitarian aspect of nuclear weapons and to present useful proposals to the 3rd PrepCom.

6.    Conclusion

In conclusion, in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation efforts, it is essential to begin with a clear understanding of the humanitarian aspect of nuclear weapons and to steadily build up realistic and practical efforts based on an objective assessment of the reality of the immediate nuclear risks in a severe security environment. Although this may seem to be a detour toward "a world free of nuclear weapons", I am convinced it is actually the shortest path.

In 2015, 70 years will have passed since the atomic bomb was dropped here in Nagasaki. Unfortunately, large numbers of nuclear weapons still exist and we are exposed to diverse nuclear risks. As a Foreign Minister born in an atomic bombed city, I will now finish my remarks by sharing my sincere desire that the measures for "Three Preventions" and "Three Reductions", which I introduced today for steady progress toward "a world free of nuclear weapons", will become one great step toward the success of the next NPT Review Conference in the year 2015 and furthermore toward the goal of "a world free of nuclear weapons". Thank you.