Japan urges ‘total elimination’ of nuclear weapons, top official tells UN

Japan urges ‘total elimination’ of nuclear weapons, top official tells UN

Japan is committed to bolstering global efforts for the elimination of nuclear weapons, the country’s newly-appointed foreign minister told the United Nations General Assembly’s annual high-level debate today.

Japan is committed to bolstering global efforts for the elimination of nuclear weapons, the country’s newly-appointed foreign minister told the United Nations General Assembly’s annual high-level debate today.

Japan, as the only country ever to suffer nuclear devastation, “will again submit a draft resolution at this session of the General Assembly to map out concrete measures toward the total elimination of nuclear weapons,” said Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura.

He welcomed the Security Council’s adoption by consensus of several resolutions regarding the nuclear programmes of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Iran.

“It is up to all of us to translate the will of the international community into concrete action through full implementation of the relevant resolutions,” Mr. Koumura said, adding that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction “requires the undivided attention of humankind.”

Japan will continue its efforts both to realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through the Six-Party Talks and to appeal to Iran to “heed the international community and suspend its enrichment-related activities,” he noted.

Mr. Koumura also pledged Japan’s ongoing support for African development, since “without peace in Africa, the world at large will not enjoy peace and prosperity.”

In Darfur, the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, the country has to date provided assistance worth $85 million. The Foreign Minister voiced hope that the new African Union-UN hybrid peacekeeping mission, or UNAMID, will be deployed as soon as possible.

Elsewhere, Japan is dedicated to assisting other countries consolidate peace and stability, he said.

In Iraq, Japan has been aiding reconstruction efforts through is provision of $5 billion in Official Development Assistance (ODA) and through its dispatching of Self-Defence Forces.

In concert with the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Japan has played a leading role in disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) and in disbanding illegal armed groups in the war-torn South Asian nation.

As Chair of the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) – established last year to help prevent countries emerging from conflict from slipping back into violence – Japan “is resolved to make a significant contribution to international efforts” through such means as the launch of the Hiroshima Peacebuilders Centre to increase Asian civilian experts’ abilities to respond to events on the ground.