Statement by Minister Hirotaka Matsuo at the IAEA Board of Governors Meeting starting on Monday, 10 September 2018: Item 3: Measures to strengthen international cooperation in nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety

Thank you, Chairperson.

In light of the increasing number of exporting nuclear power plants, and the growing importance of international cooperation on nuclear safety, Japan stands ready to actively contribute to the international cooperation to improve nuclear safety by making best use of our experiences in managing nuclear power plants. That includes their aging and decommissioning processes as well as the lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident.

Japan highly appreciates the activities of the Secretariat pertaining to the report, ‘Measures to Strengthen International Cooperation in Nuclear, Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety’ (GOV/2018/31, and would like to commend its efforts.

Based on the achievements to date, we underline the importance of continued efforts by Member States to further improve their nuclear safety including in cooperation with the IAEA.


Regarding the Agency’s report, I would like to touch upon Japan’s priority matters, together with our own activities in the area of nuclear safety.

(International Legal Frameworks for Nuclear Safety)
In considering nuclear safety, it is necessary to strengthen the international legal frameworks and to continue efforts for their effective implementation. Thus, Japan encourages those Member States which have not yet done so, especially for embarking countries, to join the conventions related to nuclear safety.

Last May, The Sixth Review Meeting of the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management was held, during which peer reviews were conducted on each Member State’s implementation in accordance with the convention. The Japanese delegation actively participated in the review, and presented its national report. In particular, although not within the scope of the convention, the delegation transparently provided information and updates on the progress of decontamination in the off-site areas of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which was highly appreciated by Contracting Parties.

It is our hope that the good practices and challenging issues which was shared in the meeting will serve further strengthening of nuclear safety.

(Emergency Preparedness and Response)

Emergency preparedness and response is one of the most important areas requiring further international cooperation.

In this connection, I would like to refer to the IAEA RANET Capacity Building Center in Fukushima. For the past few years the Center has held a number of workshops and training courses using the latest IAEA Safety Standards as the text books. This Center provides a great contribution in capacity building and has positive effects on networks among Member States.

Japan hopes that these activities will continue to strengthen Member States’ capabilities on emergency response.

During an emergency, it is essential for Member States to share information in a transparent and timely manner in order to consider plans for mitigating damage. It is also important to establish and maintain trust among those concerned parties to implement the response.

Japan will contribute actively to discussing proper ways to strengthen the cooperation between the Agency and Member States to further facilitate the role of the Incident and Emergency Centre of the IAEA during accidents.

(Current Situation of Fukushima Daiichi NPP/Public Communication)

With an aim to provide information based on scientific evidence in a transparent manner, Japan has been providing the Secretariat with updated comprehensive information on the progress of the recovery operation at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants. This information, together with the Secretariat’s comments, is available on the IAEA website.

I would like to highlight that the remediation activities, the decommissioning activities and the management of contaminated water have made steady progress. For instance, the activities on decontamination in the area where the Government of Japan or local bodies are responsible for was completed as planned.

Japan will continue to be transparent and accountable through the public communication on nuclear safety.

With these comments, Japan takes note of the report contained in GOV/2018/31.

Thank you Chairperson.