Statement by Counsellor Mr. Naobumi Yokota at the Forty-Ninth Session of Working Group B of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO

Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
My delegation would like to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your efforts to lead and coordinate this Working Group B (WGB) meeting, and all the Task Leaders for their dedicated work. I would also like to thank Executive Secretary Dr. Lassina Zerbo and his team for their tireless work in promoting the CTBT’s verification system.
[The CTBT: Science and Technology 2017 Conference (SnT2017)]
Mr. Chairman,
My delegation congratulates the PTS for the successful organization of the CTBT: Science and Technology 2017 conference held in June. We are pleased that presentations and discussions were inspiring and meaningful, with broad participation from scientists, technologists and academics, as well as State representatives. We believe that the outcome of this conference helps to promote further collaboration between the CTBTO and other communities, eventually leading to a consolidation of a state-of-the-art verification system of the Treaty.
[SEAPFE Regional Conference]
Mr. Chairman,
On 27 July the Government of Japan held the Regional Conference for States in the South East Asia, the Pacific and the Far East (SEAPFE) Region on the CTBT in Tokyo. The conference aimed to raise awareness about the importance of the CTBT, to deepen understanding of the common challenges concerning the CTBT verification regime, and to share the technical know-how and benefits regarding the establishment and operation of NDCs.
The conference was attended by twenty-two States, including four non-ratifying States and three States that have not signed the Treaty, two international organizations, a member of the Group of Eminent Persons (GEM), and the CTBTO Youth Group. Sixteen presentations were made, and participants actively discussed technical, as well as political, legal, and strategic issues, to advance the further universalization and the early entry into force of the CTBT. We would like to thank participating countries and the PTS for their active engagement and contribution to the conference.
[International Monitoring System (IMS) and International Data Centre (IDC) related Issues]
Mr. Chairman,
Japan commends the PTS for their tireless efforts to ensure the reliability and sustainability of the IMS and the IDC operations. Japan hopes that the data availability from certified IMS stations will remain high, and that the timely provision of IDC products will continue.
With regard to the second full-scale experiment scheduled to be held in September 2017, Japan acknowledges its importance and considers that the upcoming experiment serves as a good opportunity to improve process efficiency and effectiveness of the IMS and IDC.
Mr. Chairman,
My delegation thanks the PTS for the issuance of the information paper (CTBT/PTS/INF.1413) updating States Signatories on the current status of the ESMF, including the outcome of site selection. We think it was a wise and prudent approach to initiate the Austrian regulatory approval process in advance of the construction phase. My delegation kindly requests the PTS to continue its efforts to complete the construction of the permanent ESMF within the budget and before the deadline, while also keeping in mind possible external risk factors.
[2018-2019 Programme and Budget]
Mr. Chairman,
With regard to the 2018-2019 Programme and Budget, Japan thanks the PTS for issuing the final draft. We believe it essential for the WGB to provide technical guidance to the Preparatory Commission with priorities placed on early completion and sustainment of the verification regime, as well as the fulfilling of the capacity building needs.
My delegation places particular importance on the completion of the IMS build-up and the continued data transmission from IMS facilities to the IDC, as well as the further strengthening of OSI capabilities.
Mr. Chairman,
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.