Thank you, Chair.
Let me start by thanking H.E. Ambassador Evangelina Lourdes Arroyo-Bernas, Permanent Representative of the Philippines, for her commitment to organizing and leading Working Group A (WGA) , as well as the PTS for its dedicated work.
At the outset, I would like to express our deepest condolences to the Government and the people of Iran for the sudden passing of President RAISI, Foreign Minister AMIRABDOLLAHIAN, and other members of the delegation in the tragic crash.
I appreciate the Executive Secretary, Dr. Robert Floyd, for his opening statement and his leadership.
[Entry-Into-Force and Universalization]
Japan gives top priority to the Treaty’s early Entry-Into-Force. We welcome the most recent ratification by Papua New Guinea this March. Though this is a good news, I would like to convey my heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the Government and people of Papua New Guinea for the loss and death during the landslide accident. Despite this we applaud the achievement and the vigorous outreach activities by the Executive Secretary and his team. We urge all States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Treaty without further delay, in particular the remaining nine States listed in Annex 2.
[Verification System and Effective Use of the Budget]
We thank the PTS for issuing the initial 2025 Budget Update proposal. While we appreciate their efforts in enhancing efficiency and reducing costs under these difficult fiscal conditions, we reiterate that Japan’s basic position is Zero Nominal Growth (ZNG). Japan strongly encourages the efficient implementation of the budget for the sustainment and enhancement of a stable and effective verification system, as we continue to view sustaining the Treaty's verification regime as a top priority.
[Human Resources]
Japan appreciates PTS’s efforts, especially those of its human resources division to improve gender parity. Additionally, we further encourage the ongoing efforts to increase regional representation, especially at the management level.
[Momentum towards the Entry-Into-Force]
Let me touch upon our efforts too.
In September of this year, the Friends of the CTBT will organize its meeting in New York. We believe that this meeting will provide an opportunity to reinforce the momentum towards the Entry-Into-Force.
[Challenges against the Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Regime]
We must take this opportunity to underscore a critical issue. 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.
[Closing Remarks]
We State Signatories must demonstrate commitment and deliver accomplishments by sincerely engaging in constructive discussions at this WGA. 
Thank you.