Thank you, Chair.
  1. I would first like to thank, Mr. Erlan Batyrbekov, for your leadership in holding the 62nd session of Working Group B of the Preparatory Commission, as well as each Task Leader, Chair of the Expert Group Meetings and the Provisional Technical Secretariat (PTS) for their dedicated work.
  1. I would also like to thank the Executive Secretary, Dr. Floyd, for his forthcoming and encouraging opening remarks, and his dedication and efforts to ensure the early entry into force of the Treaty.  We urge all States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify it without further delay, in particular those remaining States listed in Annex 2, in order to further advance the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).
[IMS Sustainment]
  1. We, Japan, highly evaluate CTBT’s normative functions against nuclear testing.  Despite the Treaty not yet having entered into force, its verification regime has effectively deterred nuclear testing. In this context, we are of the view that the International Monitoring System (IMS) and the International Data Center (IDC) are particularly indispensable parts of the verification regime.  We appreciate the PTS for their tireless efforts to ensure the reliability and sustainability of the IMS and the IDC.
  1. From the perspective of addressing the issue of the sustainment of the IMS, we appreciate the PTS for providing us with the IMS sustainment strategy in January.  Now we are looking forward to seeing the IMS sustainment plan that identifies and prioritizes the IMS stations to be recapitalized.  This will be one of the key elements for all the States Signatories to consider in the upcoming budgetary discussions for the next biennium.
[Global Seismological Observation Training Course]
  1. We believe that capacity building is also a mechanism that will lead to the strengthening of the CTBT verification regime.  From that perspective, since 1995 Japan has annually been hosting government officers and technical experts from Africa, Asia, South America and the Pacific regions in order to train future National Data Center (NDC) personnel in those regions through what we call the Japan International Cooperation Agency – JICA’s Global Seismological Observation Training Course.  We are sure that this course contributes to strengthening capacity in detecting nuclear tests through gained expertise in seismic observation and data analysis.
  1. We also believe that the On-site inspection (OSI) should be as the final and definitive tool to verify member states’ compliance with the Treaty once it enters into force.  Thus, we need to ensure that the OSI is effective and operational upon the Treaty’s entry into force.  In light of this, the Integrated Field Exercise 2025 (IFE25) presents a valuable opportunity to enhance the operational capabilities of the OSI, as well as to develop the OSI techniques for data processing.  Japan is willing to contribute to the Build-Up Exercises (BUE) in Hungary this year and to the IFE25 in Sri Lanka by the participation of Japanese experts in the field of radionuclide and inspectional operation to support the work of the PTS.
[Challenges against the Nuclear Disarmament & Non-Proliferation Regime]
  1. As challenges remain against the Nuclear Disarmament & Non-Proliferation Regime, Japan expresses serious concerns over North Korea’s development of nuclear and missile activities.  We urge North Korea not to conduct any destabilizing or provocative actions, including a nuclear test, and the international community should be united against such an act.  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.
[Closing Remarks]
  1. While the world we face has various challenges, we must stand united to work for the common goal of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.  This Working Group B session must contribute to reaching this goal through objective discussions on how to maintain and enhance the treaty, including the implementation and steady build-up of the verification regime.
Thank you.