Statement by Minister Nobuharu Imanishi at the Sixtieth Session of Working Group B of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO
Thank you, Chair.
Let me begin by echoing our sincere sympathies as well as condolences to the people of Turkiye and Syria, who are still suffering from the consequences of the earthquake, especially as we also experienced such consequences from the earthquake12 years ago.
Let me first thank you, Dr. Erlan Batyrbekov, for your great leadership in holding the 60th 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 welcome Executive Secretary, Dr. Robert Floyd’s opening statement as well as his great leadership.
Japan welcomes ratification of the CTBT by six countries in 2022 and Solomon Islands in January this year. 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.
Japan is strongly committed to leading international efforts toward a world without nuclear weapons, including through discussions at the G7 Summit meeting, which Japan will chair in the city of Hiroshima in May 2023.
[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. As we all know, only North Korea has performed full-scale explosive nuclear tests in the 21st century. Furthermore, at the end of last year, North Korea revealed its policy of mass-production of tactical nuclear weapons and an “exponential” increase of nuclear arsenal. If Pyongyang, which has such an offensive nuclear posture, conducts a nuclear test again, this test needs to be recognized as something completely different from the previous six tests, and the international community should be united against such an act. We urge North Korea to comply with its obligations under the relevant UNSCRs, return to full compliance with the NPT at an early date and to sign and ratify the CTBT.
[IMS, IDC and OSI]
We welcome Ms. Xyoli Perez Campos’ arrival in January as the new IMS director, and value the new completion of the certification of the IMS facility during the second half of 2022.
Japan appreciates the dedicated work of the PTS to ensure data availability. We would like to point out that coordination between relevant departments or sections within the PTS, as well as cooperation among CTBT States Signatories is imperative to ensure a high level of data availability from IMS stations.
We welcome the OSI build-up exercise and workshop, including the in-person format that has been conducted since the second half of 2022, and hope that this will reinforce the operational capabilities of the OSI. Japan will actively contribute to the exercise by sending experts.
[Global Seismological Observation Training Course]
Japan values the continued efforts of the PTS regarding capacity building. We have supported these efforts by hosting the annual JICA Global Seismological Observation Training Course since 1995. This year, Japan has the honor to invite participants from countries in Africa, South America, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific region in order to train future NDC personnel in those countries. Japan thanks the PTS for their continuous collaboration by sending a lecturer to our training course.
[2024-2025 Programme and Budget]
With regard to the 2024-2025 Programme and Budget, my delegation places particular importance on the completion of the IMS build-up and the continued data transmission from IMS facilities to the IDC, as well as the further strengthening of OSI capabilities. In particular, we expect that the construction of IMS stations will steadily proceed in areas that are geographically and politically difficult.
In conclusion, we look forward to the fruitful deliberative outcomes during this session of WGB, such as improving long-term sustainability of IMS stations through the technical discussions in pursuit of our common goal, namely implementation and steady build-up of the verification regime.
Thank you, Chair.