Press Conference by Prime Minister Kishida on Attending the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)

August 1, 2022
(On how Japan, as the only country to have experienced the horror of nuclear devastation in war, will lead the international community regarding nuclear disarmament in the future, and on the outcomes from Prime Minister Kishida's speech at the NPT Review Conference and topics to be considered in the leadup to next year's G7 Hiroshima Summit)

First of all, as you mention, with the division within the international community concerning nuclear disarmament and the threat by Russia to use nuclear weapons, the conditions on the path to a world without nuclear weapons have become increasingly severe. I have attended this Review Conference with a strong sense of urgency regarding this situation. Notably within my speech, I indicated Japan's strong determination to, together with other nations, firmly uphold the NPT as its guardian. I prepared the speech with this in mind as the paramount point, and together with that, as a first step towards squarely laying out a realistic road map towards the ideal of a world without nuclear weapons, I set out five actions that make up the Hiroshima Action Plan. In this way, I prepared my speech with the idea that it is meaningful for Japan to set out how realistically we should move forward towards a world without nuclear weapons. In the future too I will push forward with efforts rooted in that thinking. With a view to linking the speech I made here in to next year's G7 Hiroshima Summit, at this NPT Review Conference, which is scheduled to convene until the 26th, Japan will work tenaciously for the conference to produce concrete outcomes.

(On why Prime Minister Kishida's speech did not touch on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and on the Prime Minister's intentions behind not incorporating the wording of Japan acting as a bridge between nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states)

First of all, Japan considers the TPNW to be an important treaty that can serve an exit as we seek to realize a world without nuclear weapons. However, as we work towards the ideal, what is important and meaningful as realistic efforts is laying out the process by which we can aim to achieve the ideal from the reality that actually exists before us. In light of that, in my speech at the Review Conference, I appealed for efforts that include most notably the Hiroshima Action Plan. Serving as a bridge between nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states is of course important, but right now the situation is one of divisions becoming greater even among the non-nuclear weapon states. Given that, I consider setting forth these kinds of realistic efforts to consequently also tie in to playing the role of a bridge. Grounded in that thinking, and given that the speech I made had a time limit and thus the contents were also limited, I prepared my speech under the approach that the most important thing was, again, realistic efforts and how, in the concrete, we should move along the path towards the ideal. It is true that the ideal itself is important, but I believe setting out how as a first step we can advance down the road towards that ideal is more important.

(On Prime Minister Kishida's hopes he had regarding the origami (folded paper) crane he brought to the podium during his speech)

The story of SASAKI Sadako, who died at the age of 12 from leukemia, is well-known by many in Japan, and I know that not only in Japan but also overseas, in the United States and elsewhere, her story is well-known and has been moving to many. By drawing upon her story, I was able to demonstrate the aim of working towards a world without nuclear weapons, together with a greater number of people all around the globe. I made my origami crane with the hope it will signify the desire to press forward with realistic efforts.
I began folding the cranes while in Japan and folded three while on the way here.

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Archives (Archived entries for the 98th through 100th prime ministers)