Statement by H.E. Mr. Mitsuru Kitano, Permanent Representative, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan at the Fifty-Second Session of Working Group A of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO

Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
Allow me to start by thanking you, Mr. Chairman, Ambassador Adnan Othman of Malaysia, for your dedicated work for this Working Group. I would also like to express our sincere appreciation to the Executive Secretary, Dr. Lassina Zerbo, for his opening statement.
Mr. Chairman,
Let me start by extending our welcome to Dr. Zerbo for visiting Japan to participate in the peace memorial ceremonies in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August this year. In particular, we congratulate you, Dr. Zerbo, for receiving a special honorary citizenship from the City of Hiroshima. This is a testament to your dedication.
We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to the PTS for their attendance and contribution at the International Conference on African Development (TICAD) Ministerial Meeting held from 24 to 25 August 2017 in Maputo, Mozambique. I believe it provided a good opportunity to reach out to those states which have not yet ratified the Treaty.
[Nuclear Testing by DPRK]
Mr. Chairman,
It is my deepest regret that I have to reiterate Japan’s condemnation in the strongest terms against North Korea’s sixth nuclear test conducted on 3 September 2017. The nuclear test by North Korea is totally unacceptable, being a clear violation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, as well as a flagrant challenge to the spirit of the CTBT.
In this connection, we commend the PTS for analysing the event, providing outcomes and holding technical briefings to the States Signatories in a timely and professional manner, including the comprehensive information provided by the Executive Secretary in his opening statement for the session. The PTS proved, once again, the reliability and credibility of the CTBT verification regime.
[2018-2019 Programme and Budget Proposals]
Mr. Chairman,
With regard to the 2018-2019 Programme and Budget Proposals, we thank the PTS for preparing the final draft reflecting comments and recommendations from the States Signatories and the relevant organs. We are carefully reviewing this final draft and in this connection, we thank the Chairman for convening informal briefings for States Signatories to better understand these proposals.
Under the severe fiscal circumstances, the Government of Japan continues to implement financial austerity measures and attach great importance to the budgetary discipline of the international organizations across the board. We therefore appreciate the continued efforts of the PTS to review priorities, leading to total savings and reprioritizations of 8.8 million USD as contained in the 2018-2019 Programme and Budget Proposals. Japan encourages the PTS to keep exploring further cost-saving and efficiency measures.
With reference to the Medium Term Strategy (MTS), we note that the final draft has been revised in response to a recommendation from the Forty-Eighth Session of the Advisory Group (AG). We also take note of the report of the AG’s Forty-Ninth Session, including its recommendation regarding the 2017 budget transfers, and would like to note our appreciation of Sir Michael Weston and the Group for their devoted work.
[Universalization and Entry into Force of the Treaty]
Mr. Chairman,
At the tenth Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT (Article XIV conference) held on 20 September in New York, Japan and Kazakhstan handed over the role of the Article XIV Co-Coordinators to Belgium and Iraq. We appreciate all the support and cooperation extended to Japan and Kazakhstan over the past two years.
As pointed out by Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono at the Conference, and as described in the progress report submitted, Japan, together with Kazakhstan, actively promoted the entry into force of the CTBT and engaged in dialogue with non-ratifying States, in particular the remaining Annex II States. Such efforts by Japan and Kazakhstan are demonstrated, amongst others, in the adoption of three joint statements issued by the two countries or their leaders, a working paper submitted to the Open-ended Working Group taking forward nuclear disarmament negotiations, a joint appeal by the Foreign Ministers of both countries and the CTBTO Executive Secretary, as well as close collaboration with the Friends of the CTBT, including the holding of the Eighth CTBT Ministerial Meeting.
Furthermore, in its effort to further promote the entry into force and universalization of the Treaty, Japan organized a high-level workshop on the CTBT in Vienna in May this year, as well as the Regional Conference for States in South-East Asia, the Pacific and the Far East (SEAPFE) in Tokyo in July, and actively participated in various symposiums and public panel discussions on the topic of the CTBT, as well as making voluntary contributions to the CTBTO in order to enhance the verification regime.
Also, more recently, Japanese Foreign Minister Kono highlighted the urgency of CTBT’s entry into force at the United Nations Security Council meeting on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction on 21 September.
Mr. Chairman,
Two years of activities as an Article XIV Co-Coordinator have offered us valuable lessons for future activities of the Article XIV process and allowed us to move the Treaty forward more actively and effectively. Here, I would like to share with you five points on which we have placed particular emphasis, including the lessons learned through our two year endeavours.  

(1) making high-level efforts to invite signature and ratification by the remaining Annex 2 States;

(2) making joint efforts to address issues that present obstacles to the ratification by the remaining Annex 2 States, including by taking a regional approach;

(3) encouraging a progressive approach towards signature and ratification; for instance, becoming an observer of the CTBTO PrepCom as a first step toward signature;

(4) promoting the further build-up of the International Monitoring System (IMS) stations and the transmission of data to the International Data Centre (IDC); and

(5) making further commitment to capacity building for national data centres in developing countries.
Mr. Chairman,
Building upon the experiences and lessons learned over the past two years, Japan will continue to promote the entry into force of the CTBT. It might be worthwhile to consider a way to revitalize the Article XIV conference mechanism and thereby fully realize its goal and purpose as stipulated in the Treaty.
We will work closely with Belgium and Iraq, as well as with other countries to further advocate and realize the noble cause of a comprehensive and global test ban on a nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.