Statement by H.E. Mr. Mitsuru Kitano, Permanent Representative, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna at the Forty-Ninth Session of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO

Thank you, Madam Chair,

Before I make my statement, allow me to state that I am saddened to learn the horrible earthquake last night in the border of Iran and Iraq. I extend my heartfelt condolences to those affected by the earthquake.

Madam Chair,

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you Madam Chair, Ambassador Paulina Franceschi Navarro of Panama, for your dedicated chairmanship to date of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO this year. I would also like to thank the Executive Secretary, Dr. Lassina Zerbo, for his comprehensive opening remarks and I would like to commend the progress made up until now.

[Nuclear Testing by DPRK]

Madam Chair,

On 3 September, North Korea conducted yet another nuclear test. The nuclear test by North Korea is a clear violation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, as well as the spirit of the CTBT. It is totally unacceptable and Japan reiterates its condemnation in the strongest terms against North Korea.

On the other hand, we commend the International Monitoring System (IMS) and the International Data Centre (IDC) for detecting and analysing the test in a rigorous and timely manner. The PTS proved, once again, the reliability and credibility of the CTBT verification regime. We urge the PTS to continue its efforts towards the further build-up of the verification regime, namely the IMS, the IDC and On-Site Inspection (OSI).

[2018-2019 Programme and Budget Proposals]

Madam Chair,

With regard to the 2018-2019 Programme and Budget Proposals, Japan prioritises the completion of the verification regime and we are content that the vast majority, over 80%, of the 2018 Budget has been proposed for allocation to verification related activities. The Government of Japan continues to implement financial austerity measures and attaches great importance to the budgetary discipline of the international organizations across the board under the severe fiscal circumstances. That said, considering the critical importance of fulfilling the CTBTO’s mandate, and in light of the substantial efforts of the PTS for additional savings and reprioritisations, Japan is ready to join the consensus on the final budget proposals.

We appreciate the PTS’s continued efforts to implement cost-saving and efficiency measures. In this light, we support the Executive Secretary’s initiative to strengthen the Secretariat’s structure with a view to further promoting efforts to implement these measures. We also call upon the Signatory States that have not yet done so to promptly discharge their financial obligations to the Organization.

[Provident Fund]

Madam Chair,

With regard to the issue of the Provident Fund, we would like to express our thanks for the additional comprehensive information provided by the PTS in the informal meeting of Working Group A chaired by Ambassador Othman of Malaysia on 6 November. Japan considers that a solution should be sought in a manner so not as to have a negative financial impact on the Commission but to also maintain the attractiveness and competitiveness of the Organization. To this end, we stand ready to engage constructively in discussions on this matter.

[Election of the Chairperson of the Preparatory Commission for 2018]

Madam Chair,

On the election of the chairperson of the Commission for 2018, we hope that the next regional group nominates a candidate according to the Rules of Procedure of the Commission. We are of the view that this is a matter of importance for securing the participation by all State Signatory in activities of the Commission on an equal footing basis.


Madam Chair,

The entry into force of the Treaty remains our most important goal. From September 2015, Japan, together with Kazakhstan, worked proactively towards this end as Article XIV Co-Coordinator, which was passed on to Belgium and Iraq at the tenth Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT held on 20 September in New York. Building upon the experiences and lessons learned over the past two years, Japan will continue its efforts to promote the entry into force of the CTBT, including through the utilization of the framework of the Friends of the CTBT and by cooperating closely with Belgium and Iraq. I hope that with a strong and consistent commitment of all, and a finely tuned approach, we can advance for our goal of concluding our unfinished business.

Thank you, Madam Chair.