Statement by the Head of the Japanese Delegation, Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy, Cabinet Office, Masaji MATSUYAMA, to the 61st IAEA General Conference

Madam President,
Mr. Director General,
Distinguished guests,
Please allow me first to congratulate you, Ambassador Maria Zeneida ANGARA COLLINSON, on your election as the President of the 61st IAEA General Conference. I would also like to extend our welcome to Grenada as the newest member of the IAEA.
The Government of Japan congratulates Director General Yukiya Amano on his reappointment and highly commends his work in addressing various challenges such as addressing North Korea’s nuclear development, the monitoring and verification of the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and the promotion of “Atoms for Peace and Development.” We will continue to support him to the fullest extent and expect all Member States to do the same.
On September 3rd, North Korea conducted its 6th nuclear test in disregard of repeated protest and warning by the international community. This is an intolerable and reckless act. North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs pose unprecedented, the grave and imminent threat to the security of the region including Japan and international community and significant challenge to the global nuclear non-proliferation regime. Japan, in coordination with the international community, will put maximum pressure on North Korea, and strongly urges North Korea to refrain from any further provocations, to fully comply with relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, and to return to compliance with the NPT and IAEA Safeguards. The robust United Nations Security Council Resolution 2375, which imposes drastically stricter measures has been adopted. We emphasize the importance of non-proliferation efforts by the entire international community including the rigorous and full implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions, including the newly adopted Resolution.
Madam President,
This year, the Government of Japan published the Basic Policy of Nuclear Energy which indicates long-term policy directions for nuclear energy use in Japan, and resumed the publication of the White Paper on Nuclear Energy. Japan will continue to work to gain public understanding and confidence in nuclear energy use while ensuring safety as a first and foremost condition.
In Japan, five nuclear power stations, including Units 3 and 4 of the Takahama Nuclear Power Station, are currently online. We intend to restart other nuclear power stations once their safety is confirmed.
Japan also continues to promote its nuclear fuel cycle, which is the most transparent in the world, by steadily utilizing plutonium through plutonium thermal power generation, reinforcing the governance of reprocessing projects, and advancing transparency and confidence building measures including the publication of ‘the Status Report of Plutonium Management of Japan’, while adhering to the principle of not possessing plutonium without specific purposes, as well as under the stringent application of the IAEA Safeguards.
The importance to Japan of developing fast reactor remains unchanged. Japan will move forward with its development,based on the policy adopted at the end of the last year. We will also promote back-end measures including by publishing the nationwide map of scientific characteristics.
Madam President,
Over the past six years, Japan has been actively working to enhance nuclear safety drawing from the lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident, including by fundamentally reforming the regulatory structures in Japan.
Japan is making steady progress in decommissioning work and, in the management of contaminated water of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, and has entered the phase where we can handle issues in a planned manner. Environmental remediation activities are making progress as well, with the decontamination measures being completed as planned in the areas where the Government of Japan is responsible for such measures. As to Japanese food, due to the various measures taken to secure food safety and the results of inspections under strict standards, many countries have already confirmed the safety of Japanese food and lifted import restrictions. Japan calls on all countries to do the same based on scientific evidence.
Building on the recommendations and suggestions of the 2016 IRRS missions, Japan has been working to make further improvements in nuclear regulations, for instance, by making amendments to legislation in April this year to introduce a new regulatory inspection system. In August, Japan requested that the IAEA conduct an IRRS follow-up mission. Japanese operators are also continuing their own efforts including by receiving the IAEA’s Operational Safety Review Team mission.
Japan will continue to share its experience from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident with the international community and contribute to enhancing nuclear safety worldwide. Japan will actively take part in the 2018 Review Meeting of the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management. Japan will continue to support the activities of the IAEA RANET Capacity Building Centre in Fukushima and to assist in the development of infrastructure and human resources in countries introducing new nuclear power plants.
Madam President,
Japan supports Director General Amano’s “Atoms for Peace and Development” and looks forward to further contribution from the IAEA toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. In the past year, Japan gave financial support of more than five million US dollars in total to the IAEA’s Peaceful Uses Initiative. Japan also continues to support Member States by strengthening partnerships between the IAEA and development agencies including the Japan International Cooperation Agency, or JICA, as well as our private sector, and by promoting further involvement of Japanese experts in regional frameworks such as RCA. In addition, we would also like to highlight the importance of international cooperation in the research and development of nuclear fusion, based on the outcomes of the IAEA Fusion Energy Conference held in Japan last year.
Madam President,
Japan upholds the IAEA’s central role in nuclear security. This year, Japan hosted the Plenary Meeting of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, or GICNT, to which positive contributions were made by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s Integrated Support Center for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Security. In February of this year, Japan requested that the IAEA conduct a follow-up mission of IPPAS, in Autumn 2018. We will also strengthen measures to counter nuclear terrorism at major public events with the IAEA’s support, in view of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Madam President,
The IAEA Safeguards are the most important instrument to ensure nuclear non-proliferation, and Japan supports the IAEA’s work to make it more effective and more efficient. Japan also attaches importance to the universalization of the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and its Additional Protocols, which we will continue to promote through frameworks such as the Asia Senior-Level Talks on Non-Proliferation or ASTOP and the Asia Pacific Safeguards Network. We advocate the IAEA’s efforts to prepare for resuming inspections in North Korea, and strongly urge North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile development and to take concrete steps to achieve the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula
Let me also emphasize the significance of promoting cooperation in the field of non-proliferation by enhancing transparency in both nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states.
Madam President,
Japan supports the JCPOA and strongly hopes for its continued implementation, in which the IAEA plays a crucial monitoring and verification role. This month, Japan, in cooperation with the IAEA, will be providing safeguards training for Iran to facilitate the implementation of the JCPOA.
Madam President,
  Japan, as an original Member State of the IAEA and a leading country in atomic power, reiterates its commitment to further promote the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and strengthen nuclear non-proliferation. 
Thank you.