Statement by Minister KUWABARA Atsushi at the IAEA Board of Governors Meeting, starting on Monday, 13 September 2021: Agenda Item 4: Strengthening the Agency’s activities related to nuclear science, technology and applications

Thank you, Madame Chair,

Japan thanks the Secretariat for preparing comprehensive and informative reports. We hope that the Agency will continue to play the central role in promoting peaceful uses of nuclear technology with its expertise in nuclear science, technology and applications. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IAEA’s role is all the more important in achieving the SDGs.

Japan highly appreciates Director General Grossi’s active participation in high-level international climate and energy dialogue, including COP26, to highlight the importance of nuclear power for the realization of a carbon-neutral economy. In this context, Japan fully aligns itself with the joint statement delivered by the UK.

Madame Chair,

Marine plastic pollution is one of the most serious global environmental challenges we face today.

The 2019 G20 Osaka Summit, chaired by Japan, shared the “Osaka Blue Ocean Vision”, with the goal of “reducing additional pollution by marine plastic litter to zero by 2050”. DG Grossi’s NUTEC Plastics initiative is fully in line with this vision, and we welcome and fully support it.

The contribution of the IAEA for achieving the “Osaka Blue Ocean Vision” has already begun. The “G20 Report on Actions against Marine Plastic Litter”, made public in July this year, describes the NUTEC Plastics initiative and nuclear technology for controlling plastic pollution throughout the report.

Japan looks forward to working with the IAEA through Technical Cooperation Projects and Coordinated Research Projects, making use of the contribution of one million euros that we previously announced.

On this occasion, I would like to congratulate the 60th anniversary of the IAEA Environment Laboratories this year. The IAEA Laboratories in Monaco have been playing an important role in marine environment research utilizing radioisotopes and nuclear technology. Japan hopes to continue cooperation with the Laboratories in a wide range of areas.

Radiopharmaceuticals are used in major clinical areas for diagnosis and therapy. The IAEA’s efforts in this area is important, especially, in supporting Member States in the development of radiopharmaceutical production capacity, training courses and education programmes.

Japan is currently working on the production of radioisotopes using test research reactors. We are also proceeding with research and development aimed at the domestic production of technetium-99m, utilizing JAEA's test research reactor JRR-3, which resumed operation in February this year. Japan is organizing a side event related to radiopharmaceuticals on the margins of the General Conference next week.

Japan hopes to accelerate our efforts toward the development and supply of radiopharmaceuticals in close cooperation with the IAEA.

With these comments, Japan takes note of the Agency’s report, GOV/2021/27.

Thank you, Madame Chair.