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Joining UN nuclear ban talks... or not

March 26, 2017

Japan mulling to speak before UN nuclear ban talks



Japan is considering delivering a speech at the United Nations ahead of talks to draw up a legally binding treaty to ban nuclear weapons.

The negotiations will begin on Monday in New York in line with a resolution adopted at the UN General Assembly in December.

Japan, along with the United States and other nuclear weapons states, voted against the resolution. Tokyo is now considering whether to join the negotiations.

Representatives of participating countries are scheduled to give speeches immediately before the start of the talks.

Japan's UN diplomatic sources say officials are now arranging to have Tokyo's envoy to the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament, Nobushige Takamizawa, speak.

Takamizawa is expected to stress the importance of abolishing nuclear weapons, as a representative of the only country to have experienced atomic bombings.

He is also likely to reiterate Tokyo's position that disarmament should occur in stages, with the cooperation of both nuclear and non-nuclear states.

Attention is focused on whether Japan will take part in the negotiations, while the US and other nuclear powers are not expected to join.


March 25, 2017

UN official wants Japan to join anti-nuclear talks



A UN disarmament official has indicated Japan should join negotiations toward a treaty to legally ban nuclear weapons.

UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Kim Won-soo made the remark when he met with Japanese Communist Party Chairperson Kazuo Shii on Friday at UN headquarters in New York.

Shii told reporters that he exchanged views with Kim over the 5-day denuclearization talks that open on Monday.

Kim has been quoted as saying he expects Japan to take an active role in the talks as the only country to have experienced atomic bombings.

He reportedly stressed the importance of US and other nuclear powers also taking part.

The nuclear armed states have indicated they do not intend to work toward a treaty due to their own national security concerns.

Shii also met with Japan's UN Ambassador Koro Bessho. He said Bessho told him that Japan's participation is still undecided.

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