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5 May 2003
Preparatory Committee for the 2005 Review
Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
5 May 2003
New York, 28 April-9 May 2003
Steps to Promote the Achievement of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone
in the Middle East and the Realization of the Goals and Objectives
of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East
Report submitted by Japan
1. Japan supported, and continues to fully support, the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East, which calls for the establishment of an effectively verifiable Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, chemical and biological, and their delivery systems. Japan also joined, at the fifty-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly, the consensus adoption of resolution 57/55 of 22 November 2002, entitled “Establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East.”
2. The establishment of a zone free of nuclear and all other weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems in the Middle East will ultimately require adherence by all States in the region to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention. Japan has been actively taking part in international efforts to encourage universal adherence to these multilateral, legally binding instruments on the disarmament of weapons of mass destruction. As a part of such an endeavour, on the occasion of her latest visit to the Middle East region from 26 April to 3 May 2003, Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, renewed her efforts to urge the Israeli Government to become a Party to the NPT and to the CTBT as well as the Syrian Government to the CTBT.
3. It is no less important that compliance with these legal instruments should be fully assured. In this context, Japan believes it is of utmost importance that the issue of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq should definitely be resolved with proper international involvement. Japan also considers it crucial that the future Government of Iraq adhere to all relevant non-proliferation agreements in order to prove its willingness to behave as a responsible member of the international community.
4. In addition, Japan stresses the necessity of strengthening the IAEA Safeguards system, which plays a vital role in underpinning the NPT. Japan has been exerting its efforts to promote and facilitate the conclusion and entry into force of the IAEA safeguards agreements and additional protocols, including hosting the “International Conference on Wider Adherence to Strengthened IAEA Safeguards,” to which Middle Eastern countries also participated.
5. Adherence to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty by all States in the region would also be a substantial practical step. Japan has also been exerting its utmost efforts to promote adherence to the Treaty by all States, especially those States whose ratifications are required for its entry into force. For this purpose, Japan, with other countries, organized the “Friends of the CTBT” Foreign Ministers Meeting, which some Middle Eastern countries also attended.
6. Japan is firmly committed to supporting the Middle East peace process, which is the key to regional stability. Such stability is a vital factor in establishing the conditions for a zone free of weapons of mass destruction. Japan will strengthen its efforts to work with the Israelis and Palestinians, as well as the countries concerned, to resume peace negotiations between the two sides, providing assistance for the Palestinians’ reform efforts, and building confidence from a mid to long-term perspective.