Statement by Minister Mr. Nobuharu IMANISHI at the 61st Session of Working Group B

Thank you, Chair.
Let me first thank you, Mr. Erlan Batyrbekov, for your leadership in holding the 61st session of Working Group B of the Preparatory Commission, as well as each Task Leader, Chair of the Expert Group Meeting and the PTS for their dedicated work. I would also like to thank the Executive Secretary, Dr. Robert Floyd, for his forthcoming and encouraging opening remarks.
[Entry-Into-Force and Universalization]
Japan welcomes the ratification of the CTBT by Sri Lanka this July, and by seven other States in 2022 and 2023. We applaud these achievements through vigorous outreach activities by the Executive Secretary to promote the entry into force of the Treaty. We urge all States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Treaty without further delay, in particular the remaining eight States listed in Annex 2.
This September, States will have an important opportunity to facilitate the Treaty’s early entry into force, namely the Article XIV Conference to be held in New York. We look forward to fruitful discussion.
As part of our efforts, Japan hosted the Regional Conference for Facilitating Entry into Force of the Treaty in Japan this July, with participants from more than 20 States, including a non-signatory State, mainly from the Indo Pacific region. The Conference was composed of the lecture, site visit and practical exercise. We focused on supporting the development of the operational system to implement the verification regime, and on sharing analytical technique and know-how to detect nuclear explosive tests. We would also like to thank the PTS for its support by dispatching lecturers.
[Strengthening Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Regime]
As the only country to have suffered atomic bombings during war, Japan is strongly committed to leading international efforts toward a world without nuclear weapons. Convening this year's G7 Summit meeting in Hiroshima is a demonstration of such conviction and we have sent a strong message for realizing a world without nuclear weapons.
We welcome the Executive Secretary for attending the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony on 6 August and his active communication to understand and share widely the realities of the nuclear weapons use.
[Challenges against the Nuclear Disarmament & Non-Proliferation Regime]
Amid the crisis in Ukraine, the threat of nuclear weapons, let alone their use, should never be tolerated. Japan condemns any act that could undermine the effectiveness of the CTBT’s verification system.
Japan also expresses serious concerns over North Korea’s intensified nuclear and missile activities. North Korea should refrain from any other destabilizing or provocative actions, including any further nuclear tests and the international community should be united against such an act. We urge North Korea to comply with its obligations under the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, return to full compliance with the NPT at an early date and to sign and ratify the CTBT.
[IMS, IDC and OSI]
We welcome the completion of the certification of RN02 station in Argentina during the first half of 2023. Japan appreciates the dedicated work of the PTS in ensuring data availability.
The OSI is the final and definitive measure by which we can verify States’ compliance with the Treaty. In this regard, we welcome the decision of the last Prep-Com that Sri Lanka will host the Integrated Field Exercise 2025 (IFE25). We also look forward to the three OSI Directed Exercises this September, ahead of the IFE25. Japan is looking forward to contributing to the IFE25 by providing the PTS with its expertise.
[Science and Technology Conference 2023]
We congratulate the PTS on the successful organization of the Science and Technology Conference 2023 held this June. We believe that the Conference has already furthered cooperation between the CTBTO and other communities, ultimately leading to strengthening the verification regime.
[2024-2025 Programme and Budget]
We thank the PTS for presenting the final draft budget for 2024-2025. My delegation attaches particular importance to the completion of the IMS build-up and to continued data transmission from IMS facilities to the IDC, as well as to the further strengthening of OSI capabilities, looking at the possibility of efficiently introducing the advanced technology to the verification system.
[Closing Remarks]
We look forward to the fruitful outcomes of this working group through the technical discussions at this session in pursuit of our common goal, namely the implementation and steady build-up of the verification regime.
Thank you, Chair.