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Speeches and Statements by the Prime Minister

Message by Prime Minister of Japan to the Global Zero Summit

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

[Provisional Translation]

It is a great honor for me to convey a message to all of you attending the Global Zero Summit which commemorates the 25th anniversary of the historic Reykjavik Summit.

The realization of a world without nuclear weapons is a common aspiration of the human kind. Being the only country to have ever suffered from atomic bombings, Japan is particularly convinced that the tragic consequences of the use of nuclear weapons must never be repeated. Japan, for its part, has been firmly committed to the Three Non-Nuclear Principles of not possessing nuclear weapons, not producing them and not permitting their entry into the country.

I am reassured by the recent efforts of the United States and the Russian Federation to reduce their nuclear stockpiles. President Barack Obama's policy to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in the US' security strategy is also encouraging.

While I call for the two countries to continue their efforts for further reductions, I strongly hope that such development will lead to advancement of global nuclear disarmament involving other countries possessing nuclear weapons.

At the same time, I emphasize that ensuring stable security environment is vital for pursuit of the noble goal of a nuclear free world. But large-scale military capabilities including nuclear weapons exist and uncertainties still linger in North East Asia. In this context, firm commitment of the United States to extend its deterrence for the defense of its allies and friends is reassuring. Japan, for its part, is determined to strengthen its defense efforts in order to maintain and improve the regional security in cooperation with the United States.

Taking such realities fully into account, Japan is resolved to take the lead on international disarmament and non-proliferation efforts in a realistic and incremental approach. As part of such efforts, Japan and Australia launched a cross-regional initiative by ten like-minded countries known as the NPDI (Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative).

Another challenge for us is to make the civil use of nuclear energy safer and to totally eliminate risks of nuclear materials and technologies being diverted to military use or falling into the hands of terrorist groups. To this end, Japan will share with the international community, with the maximum transparency, all the lessons to be learned from the accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Station of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and is determined to raise the safety of nuclear power generation to the highest level in the world. It is our responsibility to find a path towards a future of safer nuclear power.

A path towards a world free of nuclear weapons requires lengthy and persistent efforts. Therefore, the role of international public opinion is all the more important. I express my deep respect to the Global Zero movement for its initiative to arouse global public support for the vision of a world without nuclear weapons. I wish you all the success of this timely and significant Summit.

Yoshihiko Noda

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