Statement by First Secretary Mr. Masaya Ikeda at the Fifty-Second Session of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO

Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.
At the outset, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you, Ambassador Shin, for your dedicated work as Chair of this Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO. We are saddened that you are departing in the next days, but wish you all the best for your new endeavors. I would also like to thank the Executive Secretary, Dr. Lassina Zerbo, for his comprehensive opening remarks, as well as his team for their tireless work.
[Entry into Force]
Mr. Chairperson,
Japan attaches great importance to the CTBT as a key pillar of the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime centered upon the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The promotion of the entry into force of the CTBT is our top priority, and we urge all States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Treaty without further delay, in particular the remaining eight States listed in Annex 2.
The Eleventh Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT, the Article XIV Conference, to be held in September, is an important opportunity not only to facilitate its early entry into force but also to create positive momentum towards the 2020 NPT Review Conference. Japan is ready to constructively engage in the process under the leadership of the Co-Chairs from Algeria and Germany.
At the Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of the CTBT last year, Foreign Minister Taro Kono of Japan stressed the importance of continuing to pursue creative ideas with a view to substantially advance the CTBT. In this connection, I would like to inform you that Japan funded a research project on possible measures to advance the CTBT in collaboration with the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-proliferation. We hope that the report published by VCDNP will contribute to the discussions on promoting the entry into force of the Treaty.
[North Korea]
Mr. Chairperson,
Japan reaffirms its strong commitment to working with the international community in achieving complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of all of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, ballistic missiles of all ranges, as well as related programs and facilities in accordance with relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs). We call upon North Korea to come into full compliance with the NPT and the IAEA safeguards and to sign and ratify the CTBT. Japan emphasizes the critical importance for all States to fully implement relevant Security Council resolutions.
[Budgetary Issues]
Mr. Chairperson,
I would like to thank the PTS for presenting the Budget Proposals for 2020-2021. Japan continues to implement financial austerity measures under current severe fiscal circumstances. Japan's basic stance on the budget of international organizations across the board is well known and remains unchanged. In this regard, we request the PTS to make further efforts to continue to preserve and develop the verification regime, while reducing expenses through efficiency measures within a limited budget.
With a view towards adopting the budget proposals at the next session of the Commission in November, we request the PTS to revise the price adjustments by using the latest figures and to share them among the States Signatories.
We are concerned that a lower collection rate of assessed contributions could adversely impact the maintenance and enhancement of the verification regime. In this regard, we welcome Iran’s recent disbursement of its assessed contribution. My delegation would like to call on the PTS to continue its efforts in taking measures to further reduce the level of unpaid assessed contributions.

[Functioning of the Advisory Group]
Mr. Chairperson,
With regard to the considerations for the functioning of the Advisory Group, Japan welcomes the development of the discussion on this issue at the last WGA session. The draft decision annexed to the WGA report is a result of constructive discussions among all of us. We believe that it encapsulates delegations good suggestions, which will ensure that the Advisory Group is able to continue its excellent work. Japan is ready to join consensus adoption of this draft decision.
[Reappointment of Directors of the PTS]
Mr. Chairperson,
We support the Executive Secretary’s recommendation concerning the reappointment of Ms Nurcan Meral Ozel, Director of International Monitoring System Division. We highly appreciate her excellent and dedicated contributions and look forward to continue working closely with her.
[Science and Technology 2019]
Mr. Chairperson,
My delegation would like to thank the PTS for organizing the Science and Technology Conference 2019, which is important in promoting cooperation between the CTBTO and related communities of science, technologies and academia, which will eventually lead to a consolidation of a state-of-the-art verification system of the Treaty. Japan will actively contribute to the conference including by sending experts.
[TeST Centre]

Mr. Chairperson,
My delegation congratulates the PTS for the inauguration of the CTBTO Technology Support and Training Centre which was completed within the budget. We request the PTS to optimize this Centre not only for the purpose of maintenance and control of equipment, but also as a venue for workshops and trainings.
[Mobile noble gas measurement system]
Mr. Chairperson,
The mobile noble gas measurement system contributes to understanding the xenon background, as well as improving the capability of the IMS in detecting xenon from nuclear tests. In this regard, we fully support the current activities of the PTS on noble gas background characterization. It is important for the PTS to share information with States Signatories for the better understanding of the operation of mobile systems. We request the PTS to continue providing relevant information on its technical and scientific aspects.
I thank you, Mr. Chairperson.