Statement by the Japanese Delegation at the 47th 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, for your efforts to lead and coordinate this Working Group B (WGB) meeting, and all the Task Leaders for their on-going dedicated work.

We would like to congratulate the Vice-Chairpersons of Working Group A and B on their appointment at the Preparatory Commission meeting this morning. And we welcome the wonderful news of the ratification of the CTBT by the Kingdom of Swaziland.
[20th Anniversary of the Treaty]

Mr. Chairman,
Next month will mark the 20th anniversary of the opening for signature of the CTBT. On this occasion, Japan would like to underline the paramount importance of the verification regime based on the CTBT for international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation as well as international security. We commend the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) for the impressive achievements made in building up the verification regime in the past two decades and the continuous dedicated work of WGB in this regard.

An insightful exhibition at the June Ministerial Meeting in Vienna presented among other topics the achievements in terms of the build-up of the CTBT verification regime; and a similar exhibition will again be set up on the occasion of the Friends of the CTBT Ministerial Meeting in September in New York.
[2018-2019 Programme and Budget]

Mr. Chairman,
With regard to the 2018-2019 Programme and Budget, we believe it is essential for WGB to provide technical guidance to the Preparatory Commission with priorities placed on early completion and sustainment of the verification regime, as well as fulfilling the capacity building needs.

Our delegation attaches particular importance to achieving the completion of the IMS build-up, continuing the important work on data transmission and the certification process, as well as to continuously strengthening OSI capabilities.
[International Monitoring System (IMS) and International Data Centre (IDC)]

Mr. Chairman,
The fourth nuclear test by North Korea on 6 January this year and the continued provocations by North Korea prove the importance of readiness to detect any potential nuclear test.

In this context, we welcome the improvement in timeliness of the IDC reviewed products as reported in the PTS supporting material.  
We thank the PTS for the status report on Phase 5a and the road map for Phase 5b activities based on the IDC Progressive Commissioning Plan presented at the Forty-sixth session of WGB. The first full scale experiment in September this year will be an important Phase 5b milestone. Japan appreciates the PTS’s continuous efforts to make progress in executing the IDC Progressive Commissioning Plan.

Japan commends the PTS for their tireless work towards the completion and sustainment of the verification regime.

Our delegation welcomes and looks forward to the discussion on the preliminary findings on design consideration for the next generation of hydrophone hydroacoustic stations that could facilitate maintainability in a cost and time efficient manner, as reported in the PTS supporting material. To support the PTS’s important work in the field of hydroacoustic monitoring, Japan has contributed by sending two Japanese cost-free experts from last year.

Japan welcomes the certification of one infrasound station in the U.S. and one noble gas station in Chile, as well as the resumed IMS data transmission from China. Japan hopes for a continual progress towards the certification of the stations in China.

We welcome the civil and scientific application of IMS data and the increased number of tsunami agreements concluded worldwide.
[On-site Inspection (OSI)]

Mr. Chairman,
Japan welcomes the adoption of the OSI Action Plan by the Forty-Sixth Session of the Commission. We believe that the successful implementation of this action plan will contribute towards further improving OSI operational capability.

Our delegation commends the PTS for the preparation of the next training cycle for surrogate inspectors based on the OSI Action Plan. We appreciate the fact that 80 participants from 50 States Signatories have been selected, covering all six geographical regions. Japan will actively participate in the third OSI training cycle.  
[Equipment Storage and Maintenance Facility (ESMF)]

Mr. Chairman,
We thank the PTS for the information paper updating States Signatories on the current status of the ESMF, including options for a more permanent solution. Our delegation kindly requests the PTS to keep States Signatories informed about new developments and plans. We recognize the vital importance of a permanent ESMF and are ready to engage constructively in discussions on this matter.
[Capacity Building]

Mr. Chairman,
Japan appreciates the efforts of the PTS regarding capacity building as detailed in CTBT/PTS/INF.1373, including effective use of E-learning modules, and we look forward to the briefing by the PTS at this WGB.

We support these concerted efforts for capacity building by convening the JICA Global Seismological Observation Training Course again this year, which has taken place in Japan annually since 1995.

In the next year, the number of trainees invited to the Global Seismological Observation Training course will be doubled.

The course aims at providing knowledge and techniques for detecting nuclear tests. It will also be an opportunity for reaching out to non-signatory states, including the remaining Annex 2 States.

Our delegation plans to inform WGB participants in more detail about the JICA course in the designated session on capacity building.
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.