Opening Remarks by Ambassador HIKIHARA Takeshi at the International Conference on A Decade of Progress After the Fukushima Daiichi - Building on the Lessons Learned to Further Strengthen Nuclear Safety

Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi of the IAEA,
Distinguished participants,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to attend this International Conference on a Decade of Progress after Fukushima-Daiichi.
Let me first extend my sincere appreciation to Director General Grossi of the IAEA and his team for organizing this event. I also would like to thank internationally recognized safety experts and other distinguished participants for joining this event today.
The peaceful uses of nuclear energy play an essential part in many ways in the global socio-economic growth and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Nuclear technology contributes directly to no less than nine SDGs out of the 17 Goals. And, to deal with Climate Change, the most impending common issue to mankind, nuclear power has a role to play by providing more than a quarter of global low carbon electricity, as Rafael eloquently expressed in the context of COP 26, and today once again just before me.
In Japan, we will continue to proceed with the restart of the nuclear power plants with a view to achieving a nuclear power ratio of 20% to 22% toward 2030, while giving top priority to nuclear safety.
Needless to say, nuclear safety is a prerequisite for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. It is encouraging to see the substantial improvement in nuclear safety worldwide in the past ten years. We would like to acknowledge and highly appreciate the IAEA’s pivotal role in promoting nuclear safety, in particular, based on the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety. We also commend the Member States for their continuous efforts to enhance nuclear safety. We have witnessed a great deal of work carried out and many improvements achieved globally to strengthen nuclear safety since 2011.
Let me take this opportunity to briefly explain about Japan's efforts in the past ten years in this area, as well as for the future. I will touch upon three points.
<Strengthening the regulatory framework of nuclear safety in Japan>
First, Japan has made sweeping reforms to its regulatory framework for nuclear safety, so that an accident like the one at Fukushima Daiichi would never happen again.
In 2012, Japan established the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), totally separated from the administrative body in charge of promoting the use of nuclear energy. In 2013, the NRA developed and introduced a set of new regulatory requirements. These requirements were significantly enhanced from the previous ones, taking into account the lessons learned from the accident at Fukushima Daiichi.
Subsequently, Japan received the IAEA's Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission in 2016 and its follow-up mission in 2020, which recognized strengthening of our inspection.
<Strengthening the nationwide response capacity for Nuclear Disaster>
Japan also established Nuclear Disaster Management Bureau in the Cabinet Office in October 2014 in order to strengthen capacity to deal with nuclear emergencies preparedness and response or EPR. With a view to reinforcing off-site public protection, the Bureau supports local governments for EPR planning, and conducts drills and trainings. 
<Efforts and current status related to the safety aspect of the accident at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station>
Second, Japan has been advancing the decommissioning of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (NPS) and environmental restoration activities off site, with the cooperation of the IAEA.
Since 2011, Japan has received two decontamination missions and five decommissioning missions to obtain the Agency's technical advice and the IAEA regularly published the results. Since 2013, the cooperative project between the IAEA and Fukushima Prefecture has been underway.
In July this year, Japan and the Agency signed the Terms of Reference (TOR) on the handling of the ALPS treated water, and based on this TOR, the IAEA will conduct reviews on the safety and regulatory aspects of the handling as well as marine monitoring. Internationally recognized experts from various countries have been participating and providing their expertise.
Japan has been regularly providing the IAEA with status updates regarding the situation of Fukushima Daiichi and the Agency has been providing its assessments. With regard to food products and health effects, the IAEA’s assessment in October states that “the situation regarding the safety of the food supply, fishery and agricultural production continues to remain stable”, and “the joint FAO/IAEA Center understands that food supply chain is controlled effectively by the relevant authorities and that the public food supply is safe”.
Also, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) mentioned that “future health effects, e.g. cancer directly related to radiation exposure are unlikely to be discernible” in its recent report.
Japan will continue to work closely with the IAEA and fully assume the accountability on the decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi to the international community, providing all relevant information in a transparent manner, based on scientific evidence.
Third, Japan has been proactively sharing the knowledge and experience gained from the accident at Fukushima Daiichi with other countries and the Agency through various occasions including review meetings of the Convention on Nuclear Safety and the Joint Convention. With our unique experiences, we are determined to actively contribute to further improve the IAEA safety standards, thereby enhancing nuclear safety worldwide.

Japan has been also supporting the activities of the IAEA Response and Assistance Network (RANET) Capacity Building Centre (CBC) in Fukushima and contributing to enhancing international emergency response.
<Japan's efforts to further strengthen nuclear safety in the future>
Distinguished participants,
While we observe many achievements made both nationally and globally in the field of nuclear safety since 2011, as Rafael just described in a detailed manner, there can be no grounds for complacency about nuclear safety.
For its part, Japan will continue to enhance its own domestic nuclear safety, and contribute to strengthening nuclear safety worldwide in cooperation with the IAEA. As part of its consistent efforts for international cooperation, Japan is ready to provide Member States with opportunities to join IAEA capacity-building training projects at the Fukushima Daiichi NPS. Japan believes that such projects would help those countries embarking on or sustaining nuclear power programs to develop and strengthen their regulatory framework.
Distinguished participants,
Sharing of lessons learned and achievements gained globally after the Fukushima accident would definitely help identify ways forward for enhancing nuclear safety. The Conference will make a significant milestone in this context.
Let me conclude my remarks by expressing my sincere hope that this conference will be most valuable to all countries who use, or plan to use, nuclear energy in their continuous and strenuous efforts to strengthen nuclear safety.
Thank you so much.