Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

Joint Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia

“Towards a World without Nuclear Weapons”

Perth, 21 February 2010

In today’s meeting, the Foreign Ministers of Japan and Australia, Mr Katsuya Okada and Mr Stephen Smith, reaffirmed the common recognition that the threat of nuclear weapons is one of the most serious issues that humankind faces. They shared their intention to deepen cooperation between the two countries in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation in order to fundamentally strengthen the current international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime.

The Ministers engaged in intense discussion on practical steps that should be taken by the international community immediately and in the future with a view to reducing the role of nuclear weapons in national security strategy and ultimately reaching the goal of a peaceful and safe world without nuclear weapons, while recognising the role of nuclear deterrence in the real world where weapons of mass destruction including nuclear weapons exist.  The Ministers decided to work together to realise a world of decreased nuclear risk on the way to a world without nuclear weapons, and expressed their determination to take the following practical steps:

With renewed recognition of the importance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Ministers confirmed that the two countries will cooperate so that the NPT Review Conference in May this year can strengthen the treaty, reaffirm the central role of the Treaty in the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, and attain a meaningful agreement concerning each of the NPT’s three pillars, namely nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

The Ministers shared the view that the report of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND) contains many valuable proposals  to achieve the objective of a world without nuclear weapons.  They decided to hold regular meetings between the two foreign ministers and to have experts and officials review the progress of the report with the possibility of reflecting the report in present and future policies.

Upon receipt of the report of the ICNND, the governments of Japan and Australia have given further serious consideration to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation measures.  The Ministers announced their intention to pursue a package of Practical Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Measures for the  NPT Review Conference .  The Ministers confirmed that Japan and Australia, in consultation with other partners, will make their utmost efforts so that this package will be embodied in the final document of the Review Conference.

The Ministers found worthy of consideration  such ideas as enhancing the effectiveness of security assurances not to  use  nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states, or retaining nuclear weapons solely for the purpose of deterring others from using such weapons, as  a first step toward a world without nuclear weapons, and decided to deepen discussion on these issues.

The Ministers confirmed that Japan and Australia will continue to urge states which have not yet signed and ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) to do so with a view to its early entry into force.  The Ministers also expressed their determination to pursue the immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty at the Conference on Disarmament.

Recognizing the global trend that an increasing number of states are considering nuclear power generation as a way to deal with climate change and concerns of their energy security, the Ministers confirmed the significance of nuclear non-proliferation/safeguards, safety and security (3S).  They shared the view that Japan and Australia should cooperate to strengthen the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) , to enhance the efficiency of its safeguards, and to reinforce efforts so that all states using nuclear energy adhere to the IAEA Additional Protocol.  Mindful that ensuring 3S is a basis for maintaining the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and securing international transparency and confidence in the use of nuclear energy, the Ministers decided to cooperate in the provision of assistance on safeguards, safety and security to countries concerned, in cooperation with the IAEA.

The Ministers condemned in the strongest terms last year’s nuclear test and missile launches in North Korea.  The Ministers shared the view that North Korea’s development of nuclear and ballistic missile programs remains a major threat to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and the entire international community, which cannot be tolerated.  Furthermore, they urged North Korea to take positive and concrete actions, including an immediate return to the Six-Party Talks and  commitment to  full implementation of the September 2005 Joint Statement, including  the abandonment of all its nuclear weapons and existing nuclear program in a verifiable and irreversible manner.  From this perspective, they reaffirmed the importance of the full implementation of the UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874 and urged all UN Member States to implement them.

The Ministers shared  serious concerns about the nature and intent of Iran’s nuclear  program and  reaffirmed that Iran should  take all possible steps to enhance the transparency of its nuclear activities and regain the confidence of the international community. To this end, the Ministers were of one voice in urging Iran to comply with the requirements of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including the suspension of all uranium enrichment activities, and cooperate fully with the IAEA, including by concluding an Additional Protocol, to resolve all the outstanding issues concerning Iran’s nuclear program.  While the IAEA continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran, Iran has not provided the necessary cooperation to permit the Agency to confirm that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.  Ministers also urged Iran to accept the proposal brokered by the IAEA to exchange Iran’s low-enriched uranium (LEU) for processed fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor as an opportunity to change course from confrontation to cooperation and to begin to build international trust and confidence.

Finally, the Ministers confirmed that, recognizing the continuing threat of nuclear terrorism, Japan and Australia will cooperate for the success of the Nuclear Security Summit to be hosted by the United States in April this year and promote efforts to strengthen nuclear security in the Asia-Pacific region.

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