MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
27 July 1999
Release of Tokyo Forum Report
I have today welcomed the release of the report of the "Tokyo Forum for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament."
Australia will study the report carefully but, at the outset, the Government strongly endorses a number of the key recommendations, including:
The Tokyo Forum was established by Japan in 1998, following nuclear tests by India and Pakistan, to consider ways of furthering nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament in light of the challenges posed by those tests. The Forum consisted of an international panel of 22 experts, including the distinguished UK-based Australian academic, Professor Robert O'Neil.
The release of the Tokyo Forum report is a timely reminder of the vital importance of reinforcing international regimes to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery.
This message is particularly important against the background of continuing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, last year's nuclear tests in South Asia, ballistic missile proliferation in many parts of the world, and concerns about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.
Like the Canberra Commission before it (August 1996), I expect the Tokyo Forum report will make an important contribution to the debate on non-proliferation and disarmament issues.
I congratulate Japan for its initiative in establishing the Forum and facilitating its work.
Few countries speak on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament issues with as much conviction and credibility as Japan does. Its desire to ensure that no other country should suffer, as it has, from the use of nuclear weapons, is greatly respected around the world.
The Government of Japan, like Australia, will no doubt be considering the recommendations of the Report carefully, and we look forward to working with Japan in taking forward a number of aspects of the report.
Minister - Matt Francis (02)
Department - Mark Croxford (02) 6261 1555
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