When was the last nuclear explosion

I have the honor today to speak about nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation - an issue that is vital to the peace and security of the world. I would like to thank Mr. Yoshiji Nogami, President of the Japan Institute of International Affairs, and his staff for this opportunity. Last December, I renewed my determination to contribute to world peace and security when I signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Recently, for the first time in many years, I have felt a favorable mood for nuclear disarmament. That sentiment has increased significantly in the last two years when four distinguished US statesmen, including former Secretary of State George Shultz, published an article in a newspaper entitled "A World Without Nuclear Weapons".

For its part, Japan, which for the past fifteen years has presented a resolution to the UN General Assembly every year for the complete abolition of nuclear weapons and which is otherwise committed to an active foreign policy with the aim of nuclear disarmament, is emphatically committed to promoting this favorable one Take advantage of mood. The establishment of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament in September last year is part of this commitment. My speech today also reflects Japan's strong determination to take a leadership role in promoting global nuclear disarmament.

The mood for nuclear disarmament also gained momentum after US President Barack Obama's speech in Prague on April 5. I strongly support his clearly expressed willingness to take realistic and concrete steps to achieve a peaceful, secure and nuclear-weapon-free world.

However, North Korea launched a rocket launch on the same day that President Obama made his speech. This missile launch in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1718 poses a serious challenge to the peace and stability of our region. Nor can it be ignored under any circumstances from a non-proliferation standpoint. In response to this provocation, the UN Security Council, including Japan, issued an extraordinarily clear and sharply worded statement by its President. North Korea's nuclear program, together with its missile development, poses a grave threat not only to East Asia, but to the entire international community. We urge North Korea to take seriously this message from the international community, the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the agreements within the framework of the Complete six-party talks and finally take concrete steps. We also call on all countries concerned to take appropriate measures immediately, including the resolutions of the Security Council.

Even though Japan developed into one of the leading economic nations after the Second World War, it remained true to its three anti-nuclear principles, namely not possessing or producing any nuclear weapons and tolerating nuclear weapons on its territory. This happened because Japan was the only country to experience the use of nuclear weapons first hand. At the same time, it strictly limits itself to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Achieving a world without nuclear weapons is Japan's long-held desire. In order to achieve this goal, my country is actively campaigning for a foreign policy of nuclear disarmament. Japan has a firm intention to further promote the favorable mood for global and sustainable nuclear disarmament. In doing so, it is also striving to improve its own security environment.

Hoping to bring the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference (NPT) to a successful conclusion in 2010 at all costs, I have decided to set “eleven targets” that will appeal to people in my own country and in to make Japan's point of view on this matter clear to the world. Today I will first briefly outline the current situation with regard to nuclear weapons and then propose eleven targets for promoting global nuclear disarmament. These targets are based on three pillars, namely steps towards nuclear disarmament for all states in possession of nuclear weapons, measures for disarmament and non-proliferation on the part of the entire international community, in particular multilateral measures, and measures for states that allow peaceful use of the Strive for nuclear energy.

I am now going to talk about the current situation regarding nuclear weapons.

First of all, the developments in the five nuclear weapon states defined by 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 diminished significantly. Both countries have greatly reduced their strategic nuclear warheads under the START I Agreement and the Moscow Treaty (Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation for the Reduction of Strategic Offensive Weapons). Britain and France have also reduced their nuclear arsenals in a transparent manner. However, without transparency in its strategic direction, China continues to modernize its nuclear arsenal. To date, it has not reduced the number of its nuclear weapons, nor does it publish any information about its nuclear arsenal.

Second, along with North Korea's nuclear program already mentioned, the issue of Iran's nuclear development is an urgent issue for the international community. Iran has continued and expanded its uranium enrichment activities. It thus does not meet the demands of the international community, including a number of UN Security Council resolutions. Nobody questions Iran's right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. However, Iran needs to regain the trust of the international community by implementing Security Council resolutions and developing cooperation with the IAEA.

Third, there are three states that are outside the NPT, namely India, Pakistan and Israel. The world worries about the fact that there is potential for conflict between India and Pakistan, both of which have nuclear weapons while they adhere to a moratorium on nuclear testing. Israel did not join the NPT. Japan intends to persuade these three states with great persistence to join the NPT as non-nuclear-weapon states.

Fourth, since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, we have also seen an increasing threat of terrorist acts using weapons of mass destruction. We must at all costs prevent nuclear and radioactive material from falling into the hands of terrorists. The international community must act as one.

If the build-up of nuclear arsenals and nuclear proliferation continues, it could lead to a myriad of nuclear threats that are very different from the threat we faced during the Cold War. Since Japan experienced two nuclear disasters in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, my country knows the horrors of nuclear devastation firsthand. The international community must take concerted action to stop nuclear proliferation, significantly reduce the oversized arsenals of nuclear weapons, prevent nuclear terrorism and create a world without nuclear weapons. As we move towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, it is of course necessary to take into account the real security environment that surrounds us. Given the situation in East Asia, to which I have already referred, the expanded deterrence shield, including nuclear deterrence, under the Japan-US security accords is of vital importance for Japan. With that in mind, I believe that the world has now reached a point where it should, more specifically than before, take a more realistic approach to nuclear disarmament and the process involved in it, while the international nuclear non-proliferation regime is maintained and expanded.

In the following I would like to present eleven targets for the promotion of “global nuclear disarmament” on the basis of the three pillars already mentioned. These pillars consist of steps towards nuclear disarmament by all states in possession of nuclear weapons, measures towards disarmament and non-proliferation by the entire international community, in particular multilateral measures, as well as measures for states that seek the peaceful use of nuclear energy. I will explain these objectives as precisely as possible.

1. Nuclear disarmament by all states in possession of nuclear weapons

The first pillar is that all states that have nuclear weapons, i.e. the five nuclear weapon states under the NPT and states that have yet to join the NPT and that have nuclear weapons, take concrete steps to reduce their nuclear arsenals very significantly. In this regard, I propose five targets.

(Guided tour and collaboration between the United States and Russia)

The first objective is leadership and cooperation between the United States and Russia. It is important, and one of the key factors, that leadership and cooperation be enhanced between the United States and Russia, both of which have made active strides in nuclear disarmament. Japan welcomes the disarmament moves made so far by these two countries and supports the idea that they are responsible for building their leadership in the area of ​​nuclear weapons reduction. To put it more precisely: I expect the United States and Russia to lead the world towards a new security-political order. They achieve this through a comprehensive bilateral strategic dialogue on the conclusion of a treaty that will replace the START I agreement as soon as possible, through the further reduction of their nuclear warheads, through the creation of mutual trust in the areas of missile defense and through the expansion of the control framework of nuclear weapons and nuclear material.

(Nuclear disarmament by China and other states in possession of nuclear weapons)

The second target is nuclear disarmament by China and other states with nuclear weapons. In order to further advance nuclear disarmament around the world, it is vital that these states take nuclear disarmament measures, including reducing their nuclear weapons, while increasing the transparency of their arsenals. In addition, they must stop developing nuclear weapons and missiles and other delivery systems that would undermine the mood for nuclear disarmament while the United States and Russia make nuclear disarmament efforts. It is also important that the UK and France continue to step up their nuclear disarmament efforts in recent years.

(Transparency in relation to the nuclear arsenals)

Third, ensuring transparency with regard to nuclear weapons systems. It is necessary to break the vicious circle which, due to a lack of transparency in relation to nuclear weapons systems, is fueling mistrust and worrying neighboring states, which in turn leads to an expansion of military potential. Overcoming mutual mistrust and building trust by improving the transparency of military capabilities on a mutual basis will help strengthen stability on a regional basis. Therefore, I urge all states with nuclear weapons to regularly disclose sufficient information about their own nuclear arsenals, such as the number of nuclear weapons, the amount of fissile material and the delivery systems. I would also like to propose a new concept for a “culture of disclosure of information”, which states in possession of nuclear weapons should work together to shape.

(Irreversible nuclear disarmament)

Fourth, irreversible nuclear disarmament. Nuclear disarmament measures are useless if they are not irreversible. Japan welcomes the steps towards disarmament that some countries in possession of nuclear weapons have taken so far, such as the disarmament of nuclear warheads, nuclear test facilities and facilities for the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons. We call on those states in possession of nuclear weapons that have not yet taken such irreversible disarmament steps to implement them now.

(Study on Future Verification)

Fifth, a study on the future verification of the rendering of nuclear weapons unusable. As the number of nuclear arsenals continues to decline, a highly reliable verification of the scrapping of nuclear weapons will also be necessary. During this warhead scrapping verification, the sensitive information related to the nuclear warheads must be strictly protected in order to prevent such information from being leaked. Japan therefore welcomes the UK and Norway's initiative to conduct technical research related to this verification approach. By attaching great importance to the scientific and technological aspects of its foreign policy, Japan stands ready to contribute to this initiative through cooperation between the relevant organizations in our country who have the appropriate expertise.


2. Actions to be taken by the entire international community

(Multilateral measures)

The second pillar consists of measures that the entire international community must take, in particular multilateral measures. In order to achieve a world without nuclear weapons, it is necessary that, while the states in possession of nuclear weapons advocate nuclear disarmament, the entire international community adopts and follows universal norms of disarmament and non-proliferation. To this end, I propose three multilateral targets.

(Prohibition of nuclear tests)

First of all, a ban on nuclear tests. I welcome the open-minded attitude of the new US administration with regard to the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (UVNV) or the Test Ban Treaty. I hope the United States will ratify this treaty before the NPT Review Conference in 2010. Japan will work with China, India, Pakistan and other states whose ratification of the treaty is required for its entry into force in order for those states to ratify the treaty as early as possible. A “program to promote the early entry into force of the UVNV” will be set up, with the help of which rapid ratification will be urged and a contribution will be made to the design of a global verification system. With the aim of helping these countries ratify the UVNV, Japan is calling for a moratorium on nuclear tests, depending on when the UVNV comes into force.

(Ban on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons)

Second, a ban on the production of fissile material for use in weapons. Negotiations have not yet started on a contract to reduce fissile materials, which will prohibit the production of highly enriched uranium and plutonium used in nuclear weapons. The international community should immediately start negotiations on this treaty and set a quantitative limit on nuclear weapons. I also urge all states to freeze the production of fissile material for weapons purposes, pending the conclusion of this treaty.

(Ballistic Missile Restrictions)

Third, a restriction on ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.As the example of North Korea shows, the development of ballistic missiles gives rise to suspicion and tension in regions around the world, including Northeast Asia. In these circumstances, Japan supports the extension of the medium-range nuclear weapons treaty between the United States and Russia to the rest of the world, as well as the EU's proposal for a treaty banning short and medium-range surface-to-surface missiles. The international community should pay increased attention to how effective global ballistic missile restrictions can be imposed.

3. Measures to support states that are striving for the peaceful use of nuclear energy

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

(International cooperation in the field of civil nuclear energy)

First, the promotion of international cooperation in the field of civil nuclear energy. Japan has followed an approach known as "3S". "3S" refers to guidelines (safeguards), nuclear safety and security. Japan is keen to promote the importance of "3S" internationally and to make this approach a generally accepted standard. My country intends to support countries that are introducing new nuclear power plants in such a way that the "3S" are guaranteed. Japan has supported human resource development and capacity building, particularly in Asian countries that are introducing new nuclear power plants. Together with the IAEA, Japan is planning an international conference in Tokyo this autumn on nuclear safety in Asian countries, especially in those countries that are concerned with the introduction of nuclear power plants. It will be the second conference of its kind after the results of the first conference in 2006, also held in Tokyo, received high praise.

In addition, Japan will make an active contribution to the international discussion on securing nuclear fuel, for example by proposing the establishment of a system for registering the capacities of individual countries with regard to nuclear fuel in cooperation with the IAEA.

(IAEA safety guidelines)

Second, the IAEA security guidelines. Japan believes it is vitally important to improve transparency about each country's nuclear activity by ensuring that all countries promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy comply with the IAEA's safety guidelines at the highest level Implement the level, in particular the agreements on the comprehensive NVV safety guidelines and the so-called “Model Additional Protocol”. My country has worked hard for the general dissemination of these guidelines. On various occasions, such as the IAEA seminars and the High Level Discussions on Non-Proliferation in Asia, Japan has shared its knowledge and experience with other countries regarding the implementation of the IAEA security guidelines. My country will continue this commitment in the future.

(Preventing nuclear terrorism)

Third, nuclear safety. As I said earlier, we have to deal with the threat of nuclear terrorism. To prevent this type of terrorism, it is of the utmost importance to improve control over nuclear power plants and their nuclear fuel facilities. Control of all nuclear and radioactive material must also be stepped up. Japan welcomes President Obama's proposal to launch new international efforts to control nuclear materials and to host a "World Summit on Nuclear Safety." Japan will work with the United States to bring this summit to a successful conclusion.

My country will do its utmost to meet the eleven targets for global nuclear disarmament that I have set out here. In particular, we intend to propose these targets at the 2010 NPT Review Conference, as well as to promote a favorable environment for the successful conclusion of the conference. In the meantime, I hope that the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, which I cited at the beginning of my presentation, and which is co-chaired by former Foreign Minister Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi, and former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, will conclude This autumn meeting in Hiroshima will put forward a number of realistic and effective proposals that will lead all countries towards a world without nuclear weapons. Japan welcomes the initiative of the Australian Government in setting up this international commission and will give this body its fullest support.

In a scene from a blockbuster movie from last year, the hero survives a nuclear weapon explosion by hiding in a refrigerator. I was surprised by the almost innocuous-looking image of a nuclear explosion that this scene conveyed. In fact, an atomic explosion destroys everything in a split second. I was almost a little concerned that such a naive view would spread around the world. Japan is the only country that can convey the destruction caused by a nuclear attack to future generations based on its first-hand experience. As part of the United Nations Disarmament Society's program, my country has invited over 650 diplomats from various countries to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Many participants in this program now hold key positions in their countries' governments in promoting nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. I am convinced that it is Japan's destiny to make all people in the world - across the boundaries of different political views and ideologies - aware of the extent of the suffering of the August 1945 atomic bombing on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

It has been almost a decade since the end of the 20th century, which was a century of wars. Whether future generations will live in a world without nuclear weapons depends to a large extent on the results of our actions in the face of the challenges ahead. I am therefore delighted to announce that Japan is planning to host an international conference early next year that will seek concerted action by the international community to promote global nuclear disarmament. I would like to provisionally call this conference the “Nuclear Disarmament Conference 2010”. As Foreign Minister of the country, which is the only country to have suffered destruction by nuclear weapons, I would be delighted if the outcome of this conference and the eleven targets I proposed led to a successful conclusion to the 2010 NPT Review Conference and helped us to do so to take a big step forward in the field of nuclear disarmament.

Thank you for your attention.

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