Statement by Minister-Counsellor Mr. Nobuyuki KIKUCHI at the 62nd Session of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO

Thank you, Chair.
Let me start by thanking all those who made this important session possible.
First of all, we welcome the ratification of the Treaty by Papua New Guinea in March. Japan applauds these achievements and vigorous outreach activities by the Executive Secretary. We urge all States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Treaty without further delay, in particular the now remaining nine States listed in Annex 2. As always, I reiterate my gratitude to the Executive Secretary, Dr. Robert Floyd, for his dedication and congratulate him on this concrete outcome.
(Entry-Into-Force and Universalization)
The Entry into Force and the Universalization of the Treaty is of our great importance. We will hold the Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of the CTBT in New York this September, building on the Article XIV Conference held last year. Japan encourages high level and active participation so that this meeting will provide an opportunity to reinforce the momentum.
(Strengthening Verification Regime and Budget)
The strengthening of the Verification Regime of the CTBT and the sustainment of its International Monitoring System, IMS is another priority of ours. We acknowledge the emerging necessity of appropriate resources for its sustainment. We look forward to having concrete objective, financial, and technical exchanges based on its technical needs in the upcoming budgetary discussions for the next biennium.
We also thank the PTS for issuing the initial 2025 Budget Update proposal. We appreciate their efforts in enhancing efficiency and reducing costs under these difficult fiscal conditions. However, we reiterate that Japan’s basic position for the budget is Zero Nominal Growth (ZNG). 
In any case, Japan strongly encourages the efficient implementation of the budget for the sustainment and enhancement of a stable and effective verification system.
As we see the importance of the entry into force of the Treaty, we need to make our utmost effort to prepare for it. We expect that the On-site Inspection (OSI) Build-Up Exercise (BUE), currently being conducted in Hungary, will produce fruitful achievements for the Integrated Field Exercise 2025(IFE25)in Sri Lanka.
(Function of the Preparatory Commission)
We place particular emphasis on maintaining the function of the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO. In this context, we welcome the constructive engagement by Signatory States, which is crucial for its success. 
We also believe that the appropriate audit mechanism, either external or internal, are important parts of a good governance.
Equitable regional representation and gender perspective among the PTS’s staff members, particularly those at the management level, also contribute to a good governance and we encourage the PTS to make further effort.
(Challenges against the Nuclear Disarmament & Non-Proliferation Regime)
Japan expresses serious concerns over North Korea’s advancement of nuclear and missile activities. We urge North Korea not to conduct any destabilizing or provocative actions, including a nuclear test. Japan also urges North Korea to comply with its obligations under the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, to return to full compliance with the NPT at an early date and to sign and ratify the CTBT.
We echo condemnation by others of aggression against Ukraine and the threat of nuclear weapons.
(Closing Remarks)
We have so many crucial issues before us. I am sure that all of us will continue to work together in a spirit of good faith.
Thank you.