Statement by H.E. Mr. Takeshi Hikihara, Permanent Representative, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna at the Fifty-Ninth Session of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO
Thank you, Chair.
Let me first thank you once again, Ambassador Darío Ernesto Chirú Ochoa, for your able leadership, and the PTS for their dedicated work in holding the 59th Session of the Preparatory Commission. My appreciation also goes to the Chairs of Working Group A, Ambassador Nguyen Trung Kien of Vietnam, and of Working Group B, Mr. Erlan Batyrbekov of Kazakhstan, as well as the Chair of the Advisory Group, Ms. Rashmi Rajyaguru of the United Kingdom, for their valuable contribution to the work of the organization.
I would also like to thank the Executive Secretary, Dr. Robert Floyd, for his engaging and encouraging opening remarks.
[Entry-Into-Force and Universalization]
We welcome the ratification of the CTBT by Dominica, Timor-Leste, Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe. Japan applauds these achievements resulting from the 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.
[The High-level Meeting of the Friends of the CTBT]
As Dr. Floyd generously mentioned in his statement, It was a great milestone for the Treaty that the Friends of the CTBT, for the first time in its history, convened the High-level Meeting on 21st September in New York, which included participation by the heads of the government level. From Japan, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio co-chaired the meeting and stated that Japan will contribute further to the early entry into force of the CTBT and the strengthening of the verification system.
Japan would like to thank all States Signatories that participated and associated themselves with the Joint Statement, and we are also grateful for the Executive Secretary, and his team who lent their support to the Meeting and preparation of the Joint Statement. The Joint Statement will be registered as a United Nations document in due course. We would like to ask all States Signatories that have not yet done so, to associate themselves to the Joint Statement through the association form as soon as possible.
Japan is firmly determined to lead international efforts towards achieving a world without nuclear weapons, including through discussions at the G7 Summit that Japan will chair in Hiroshima next year.
[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 verification system of the CTBT, and in this context, strongly urges the Russian Federation to immediately cease all attacks, which could place the IMS facility in Ukraine at risk.
Japan also expresses serious concerns over North Korea's intensified nuclear and missile activities. North Korea’s nuclear and missile development, including the spate of ballistic missile launches with unprecedented frequency and in an unprecedented manner, threatens the peace and security of Japan and the region, and poses a serious challenge to the international community. We cannot tolerate such an outrageous act.
As we all know, only North Korea has performed full-scale explosive nuclear tests in the 21st century. Another nuclear test by North Korea should never be tolerated and the international community should be united against such an act.
Japan reaffirms its strong commitment to working with the international community in achieving complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of all of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, ballistic missiles of all ranges as well as related programs in accordance with the relevant UNSCRs.
We urge North Korea to comply with its obligations under the relevant UNSCRs and to return at an early date to full compliance with the NPT and the IAEA safeguards and to sign and ratify the CTBT. We also call on all States to fully implement the relevant UNSCRs.
Japan recognizes that sufficient resources must be allocated to the verification regime to ensure the detection of nuclear testing, which is the cornerstone of the CTBT.
We support the final draft of the 2023 Budget Update Proposals issued by the PTS, especially its effort to minimize the additional costs despite global economic challenges. Japan strongly encourages efficient formulation and implementation of the budget, while appropriately dealing with the impact of global challenges on the budget, and ensuring the effectiveness of the verification system.
[Consideration of guidelines for holding non-scheduled sessions]
We appreciate the effort to formulate guidelines for holding non-scheduled sessions of the Commission by Ambassador Duarte of Brazil, the facilitator of this issue. We would like to contribute to the discussion toward the formulation of clear and flexible guidelines which would enable the Preparatory Commission to promptly hold sessions in case of emergency.
We have many substantial issues waiting for us. We look forward to fruitful substantive discussions at this meeting under your able leadership.
Thank you, Chair.