Statement by the Japanese Delegation at the 46th Session of Working Group B of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO

Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
At the outset, our delegation would like to thank Executive Secretary Dr. Zerbo for his opening statement. Let me also thank you, Mr. Chairman, Dr. Schulze, for your efforts to coordinate this Working Group B meeting being held in this historic year of 20 years after the opening for signature of the CTBT, and all the Task Leaders for their on-going dedicated work.
[Nuclear Test by North Korea]
Mr. Chairman,
On January 6, North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test. This nuclear test is totally unacceptable and Japan strongly condemns it.
The nuclear test was detected by the International Monitoring System (IMS) and analysed by the International Data Centre (IDC) of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO. Japan commends the PTS for providing the required information immediately and holding a technical briefing on the same day as the nuclear test. We also appreciate the PTS’s expert analysis and presentation of results to the States Signatories at a follow-up technical briefing on January 14.

This case has once again proved the credibility and reliability of the verification regime that has been steadily established over the past two decades.
[International Monitoring System and International Data Centre]
Mr. Chairman,
With regard to IMS and IDC, we would like to emphasise the importance of a number of enhancements.
  1. We recognise that the IDC has already fulfilled the requirements of Phase 5a of the IDC Progressive Commissioning Plan as confirmed by the Preparatory Commission. From now on, it is important to steadily strengthen the IDC capacities in accordance with the Plan and relevant decisions by the Preparatory Commission.
  2. We commend the PTS for their continued efforts to promote the installation and certification of the IMS facilities.

As a co-coordinator country for promoting Entry into Force (EIF) of the Treaty, we would like to reiterate that strengthening the verification regime by completing the installation and certification of IMS facilities is a very important factor to promote EIF of the Treaty.
In this regard, we would like to call upon all countries that have not yet done so to install the IMS facilities and send the data to the IDC at the earliest date possible. If there are certain difficulties in doing so, we would like to appeal to all relevant parties to discuss in earnest ways to improve the situation in order to achieve our common goal of completion of the verification regime.

  1. We are grateful to the PTS for the informal technical briefing on the characterisation of the radioxenon background, which was held on January 18. We should further discuss and promote the background measurement as determined in the Treaty and relevant CTBTO decisions.
[On-Site Inspection]
Mr. Chairman,
We appreciate the issuance of the On-site Inspection (OSI) Action Plan 2016-2019 and the OSI Exercise Plan 2016-2020. The findings which should be improved have been specified at the Integrated Field Exercise (IFE14) and the following OSI Workshops. We recognise that the findings were appropriately reflected in the plans, and we are looking forward to discussing these plans in a constructive manner.
[Capacity Building]
Mr. Chairman,
We appreciate the continuous efforts of the PTS regarding capacity building of essential personnel at the NDCs and would like to congratulate the PTS for the successful holding of the 20th year symposium last month that significantly contributed to enhancing general understanding of the verification regime.

Japan supports these efforts by providing the JICA Global Seismological Observation Training Course again this year, which has taken place in Japan annually for the past 20 years since 1996. We believe that this training course will provide a valuable opportunity to promote the Treaty to non-signatory and non-ratified countries directly.

We appreciate the PTS’s continuous cooperation by sending lecturers to this training course.

As a co-coordinator for the Article XIV process, Japan is determined to further enhance our contributions to capacity building efforts.
In closing, I would like to assure you, Mr. Chairman and the Task Leaders, of Japan’s continuous support and engagement in all sessions of the WGB.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.