Statement by Counsellor Nobutaka Sawada at the Sixtieth Session of Working Group A of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO


Thank you, Madam Chairperson.
At the outset, I would like to thank you, Madam Chairperson, Ambassador Nada Kruger for your dedicated work in leading and coordinating this Session of Working Group A (WGA). Let me also thank the Executive Secretary, Dr. Robert Floyd for his opening remarks.

[Entry-Into-Force and Universalization]

Madam Chairperson,
Although this year’s Article XIV Conference was held in a fully virtual format due to the impact of COVID-19, Japan welcomes the success of the conference under the leadership of the Co-Coordinators of the Conference, Italy and South Africa, as well as the dedicated support by the PTS.
We commend the participation of many high-level officials and the 58 countries who delivered statements. We also recognize that the conference provided an opportunity to reconfirm the importance of strengthening the initiatives towards the entry into force of the CTBT, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the opening for signature of the Treaty.
As stated by Foreign Minister MOTEGI Toshimitsu in his statement at the conference, “as the only country which has suffered from atomic bombings during war, Japan has made vigorous efforts to advance nuclear disarmament. To this end, as one of the most realistic and practical initiatives for both nuclear and non-nuclear weapon States to work together, Japan is fully committed to achieving the entry-into-force of the CTBT.” In this regard, we will spare no effort in supporting the activities of Italy and South Africa as the Co-Coordinators for the entry into force of the CTBT during the next two years.
In order to further advance the CTBT, 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.

[North Korea]
Madam Chairperson,
Japan is deeply concerned about North Korea’s continued development of nuclear and missile capabilities. 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 UNSCRs. We call upon North Korea to return at an early date to full compliance with the NPT and the IAEA safeguards and to sign and ratify the CTBT. We also call on all States to fully implement relevant UNSCRs.
[2022-2023 Budget]
Madam Chairperson,
We appreciate the PTS for preparing the final draft of the 2022-2023 budget. Given the austerity measures taken under severe budgetary circumstances, Japan's basic stance on the budget of the international organizations across the board remains unchanged. We applaud the continued efforts by the PTS to implement cost-saving and efficiency measures, and request the PTS to continue such endeavors.
We welcome the improvement in the collection rates of assessed contributions for 2021 as of 31 August this year, compared to the same period last year. However, in order to respond to the issue of securing financial resources for long-term sustainment and management of the IMS facilities, while keeping the full life cycle costs in mind, we would like to call upon those States Signatories that have not yet done so to promptly discharge their financial obligations to the Organization. In order to consider a response to the issues related to the full life cycle costs, we request the PTS to provide detailed information on the outlook of the renewal plans of the IMS facilities based on middle and long-term standpoints, as well as the financial implications for the sustainment and management of the IMS facilities.

[Establishment of the Position of Chief of Cabinet]
Madam Chairperson,
As for the proposal by the PTS to establish the position of Chief of Cabinet, we would like to thank Dr. Floyd for providing detailed information in his statement this morning. Japan supports the proposal with the condition that the establishment of the position is required by the Executive Secretary, Dr. Floyd, in order to strengthen the functioning of the Organization, and that the financial impacts are limited.

We hope that with the establishment of the position, and under the leadership of Dr. Floyd, entry into force of the Treaty, strengthening of the verification regime, and promotion of the civil and scientific use of the verification technologies will continue to advance. 

[Closing Remarks]

Madam Chairperson,
Although in-person discussions continue to be restricted due to COVID-19, we are pleased to see that agenda items that are critical to the programme and budget of the CTBTO, including the final draft of the 2022-2023 budget, are planned to be discussed at this session of the WGA. We look forward to having substantive discussions towards reaching a decision at the next Preparatory Commission in November.
Before closing, we also take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to our Chair, Ambassador Kruger, for successfully guiding and managing the WGA sessions for the past two years despite the unprecedentedly difficult circumstances due to the pandemic.
Thank you.