During the recent Workshop on Managing International Conflicts in East Asia organised by the SSU on 31st January 2014, His Excellence the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Mr. Fumio Kishida has honoured the event with his visit. The Minister has delivered a short speech highlighting the importance of the international community's work on the issue of nuclear disarmament, a question to which Japan has dedicated numerous diplomatic initiatives, and which will continue to constitute one of the pillars of the country's international security approaches. The SSU has been authorised to publish the text of Mr. Kishida's speech, which appears below in English translation. The Minister's speech was originally in Japanese. The SSU expresses its outmost gratitude to the Minister for his visit and his appreciation of the unit's work.

Speech by Hon. Fumio Kishida, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Japan

I would like to congratulate you on holding this International Workshop entitled “Managing International Conflicts in East Asia.” I have been notified that this workshop is hosted by the University of Tokyo, and many prominent experts from and outside Japan have been gathered to discuss such topics as arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, as well as peace and security in East Asia.

I am here today with the kind invitation and request from Professor Kiichi Fujiwara to talk about policy of the Government of Japan and myself on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. As Professor Fujiwara kindly introduced me earlier on, I am from Hiroshima, and as Minister for Foreign Affairs, I have a strong commitment to working on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Professor Fujiwara has regularly given me suggestions on these matters.

Recently, I had an opportunity to deliver a speech at Nagasaki University on a comprehensive policy regarding nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. I would like to share the outline of this speech today.

In this speech, I first mentioned that the Government of Japan is working towards realistic and practical efforts based on the notions of a clear understanding of the inhumane aspects of the use of nuclear weapons, as well as an objective assessment of the reality of today's international community, which is facing increasingly diversifying nuclear risks. And to fulfill this effort, “Three Preventions” regarding nuclear non-proliferation, and “Three Reductions” regarding nuclear disarmament would be necessary.

“Three Preventions” regarding nuclear non-proliferation contains the following initiatives. The first prevention is to “prevent the emergence of new nuclear weapon states.” We must, for example, deal with North Korea's nuclear and missile development issues and Iranian nuclear issues. Also, We are taking the initiative in strengthening the IAEA safeguards system. The second prevention is to “prevent the proliferation of nuclear-weapons-related materials and technologies ”through export controls, and the third prevention is to “prevent nuclear terrorism” by reinforcing nuclear security measures. These “Three Preventions” are extremely important.

“Three Reductions” regarding nuclear disarmament contains the following initiatives. The first reduction is to “reduce the number of nuclear weapons” through multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations, as well as increasing transparency of nuclear forces. The second reduction is to “reduce the role of nuclear weapons” by narrowing and limiting the role of nuclear weapons in respective countries' national security policy and military doctrine. And the third reduction is to “reduce incentives to possess nuclear weapons” through regional confidence building measures. These “Three Reductions” also become extremely important.

Furthermore, I mentioned the importance of promoting discussions on the humanitarian aspect of nuclear weapons. These discussions should be a catalyst for uniting the international community toward “a world free of nuclear weapons”. We must also spread awareness of the humanitarian aspect of nuclear weapons across generations and borders. At the same time, we must deepen our knowledge on the scientific aspect of nuclear weapon's inhumanity. I believe these discussions will lead to the achievement of “a world free of nuclear weapons.”

These are the main points I have talked about in Nagasaki. The Government of Japan will be hosting the Foreign Ministers' Meeting of Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI) in April this year. I am very much looking forward to deepening discussions on disarmament and non-proliferation through such valuable opportunities, and I hope I will be able to devote my thoughts mentioned earlier on through such talks. Opinions and advices from members present here today would become valuable and are very much welcomed.

I wish this workshop to be a great success. I also wish the best of luck to everyone present here today. Thank you.