Nonproliferation to be raised at G8

Posted in Japan | 03-Apr-08 | Source: Japan Times

Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura

Japan will lead discussions at July's Group of Eight summit on the North Korean and Iranian nuclear standoffs and on strengthening the nonproliferation framework, Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said Tuesday in a biennial report on disarmament.

The 2008 white paper on disarmament and nonproliferation also criticizes China's failure to provide an adequate explanation of its antisatellite test in January 2007, reiterating Japan's concerns and calling for greater transparency of its military capacities.

On North Korea, the report notes that "the path toward realizing denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula remains long." Describing Pyongyang's nuclear and missile tests as a "serious threat" to East Asia and the world, Japan urged expanding global cooperation to cut off support for the North's programs.

Regarding Iran, the paper says, "It is extremely regrettable that despite calls by Japan and the rest of the international community, Iran continues to expand its uranium enrichment activities."

Japan also said it will continue to urge Iran to stop cooperating with North Korea on missiles.

On international mechanisms, the report stresses the need for diplomatic efforts to persuade Vietnam, Colombia and other countries to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to achieve the required number for the accord to take effect.

Tokyo will also continue to make use of official development assistance as a diplomatic tool to support disarmament and nonproliferation, the paper says.