Statement by H.E. Mr. Mitsuru Kitano, Permanent Representative, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna, at the 27th Session of the Joint Meeting of Working Groups A and B of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO

Thank you, Mr. Co-Chairmen,
At the outset, our delegation would like to thank you, Distinguished Co-Chairs, for your efforts to lead and coordinate this joint session. Let me also thank the Executive Secretary Dr. Lassina Zerbo for his opening statement.
[Appointment of Directors]

Mr. Co-Chairmen,
Japan welcomes the appointment of the two Directors of the PTS, Ms Barbosa Sobral to the position of Director of the Human Resources and Mr Patrick Grenard to the position of Director of the Division of Administration, at the resumed 47th session of the Preparatory Commission. We look forward to closely working with the newly appointed directors in the coming years.
[Executive Secretary’s Recent Visit to Japan]

Mr. Co-Chairmen,
Japan welcomes the Executive Secretary’s recent visit to Japan. As mentioned by the Executive Secretary, he had meetings with Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and members of Parliament during his visit in Japan. At the meeting, Minister Kishida expressed his unwavering support to the CTBT and the CTBTO, and reiterated his strong commitment to promoting the early entry into force of the Treaty.
[Voluntary Contributions]

Mr. Co-Chairmen,
Today, at this joint session, I am pleased to announce that, as has been touched upon by the Executive Secretary, the Government of Japan has decided to make an extra-budgetary contribution amounting to approximately 2.4 million USD to the CTBTO, which will be used to further improve its IMS and IDC capabilities.

We hope that this contribution will help make the verification regime more robust for detecting any nuclear explosive tests.

In this context, I thank the Executive Secretary for his kind words addressed to Japan.
[2018-2019 Programme and Budget]

Mr. Co-Chairmen,
With regard to the 2018-2019 Programme and Budget, we take note of the initial budget proposal by the PTS. We believe it is essential for the WGB to provide technical guidance to the Preparatory Commission with priorities placed on the early completion and sustainment of the verification regime, as well as the fulfilment of capacity building needs.

The Government of Japan continues to implement financial austerity measures, and our basic stance on the budget of the international organizations across the board remains the same. We therefore appreciate the continued efforts of the PTS to prioritize projects and would like to request that the PTS continues to explore the possibilities for achieving maximum efficiencies.
[Equipment Storage and Maintenance Facility (ESMF)]

Mr. Co-Chairmen,
On the establishment of a permanent replacement for the Equipment Storage and Maintenance Facility (ESMF), Japan would like to reiterate our support for its establishment and request the PTS continue its efforts to proceed with the project based on the schedule outlined in CTBT/PTS/INF.1392 and to keep updating States Signatories on further developments as appropriate.

[Article XIV Conference]

Mr. Co-Chairmen,
As an Article XIV Co-Coordinator, Japan, together with Kazakhstan, has been committed to promoting the early entry into force of the Treaty.
Japan and Kazakhstan will work together to support the convening of the next Article XIV Conference which will be held in New York during the 72nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in September 2017.
[Workshop on the CTBT]

Mr. Co-Chairmen,
Convinced that the CTBT should be highlighted in the NPT review process, Japan and Kazakhstan are currently planning to organize a workshop on the CTBT on the margins of the NPT Review Conference preparatory meeting to be held in Vienna in May. The workshop is tentatively scheduled for 10th May. We hope that this workshop will offer a great opportunity to have a focused discussion on the prospects for entry into force of the Treaty.
[SEAPFE Conference]

Furthermore, Japan is planning to hold in Tokyo, in summer this year, the Regional Conference for States in South-East Asia, the Pacific and the Far East Region. We expect that, together with the workshop in May, this conference will help deepen the understanding of the value and benefits of the CTBT and its verification regime.

Mr. Co-Chairmen,
To conclude, we look forward to a fruitful 27th session of the Joint Meeting of WGA and WGB and would like to confirm our continuing commitment and engagement with other States Signatories and the PTS on the important issues on our agenda.
I thank you, Mr. Co-Chairmen.