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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 45, April 2000

Words and Deeds: What Japan Should Do To Promote Nuclear Disarmament
By Motoko Mekata

Introduction

The Tokyo Forum on Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, convened by the then Foreign Minister Keizo Obuchi as a reaction to the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan in 1998, presented its Action Plan in July 19991. For proponents of the total elimination of nuclear weapons, the result of its deliberations was far from satisfactory. Some seriously questioned the Tokyo Forum's retreat from the passionately abolitionist tenor and emphasis of the report of the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in 19962. However, the Tokyo Forum did provide a comprehensive agenda for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, carefully incorporating the opposing views that existed within the group. And, at the least, its proposals were a big step forward from the official position held by the Japanese Government. The two co-chairs of the Tokyo Forum formally handed the final outcome to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York and the paper was presented to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to be filed as an official document. Nevertheless, the Japanese Government has to date not made clear its official stance vis-à-vis the proposals, despite the fact that the Forum was a government-initiated project.

Why is this so? The official Japanese policy on nuclear disarmament has always incorporated some degree of ambiguity. On the one hand, Japan, the only state to have experienced atomic bombings, has advocated the total elimination of nuclear weapons, and has reiterated its commitments in promoting global nuclear disarmament. Non-nuclear diplomacy has been, and still is, a pillar of Japanese foreign policy. On the other hand, Japan imposes some restrictive barriers on its own diplomatic style and activity, sometimes unconsciously, refraining from taking an independent stance on nuclear disarmament issues principally because it remains under the US nuclear umbrella3. The Japanese Government's total silence on the recommendations of the Tokyo Forum reflects this reality.

Perhaps due to this ambiguous stance, Japan has never fully convinced its neighbors that it will not engage in developing nuclear capabilities of its own. Having sophisticated technologies and enough plutonium for nuclear weapons production, there have been constant suspicions of Japan acquiring its own nuclear weapons should the security environment in North East Asia change dramatically. Even deep within the mind of its American ally, suspicions remain, and some have seen the US-Japan Security Treaty as a means to prevent the militarisation and nuclearisation of Japan4. In spite of the fact that it has been a member of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) since 19765, has accepted the full scope safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and has renounced war in its Constitution, Japan has been unable to fully convince the international community of its determination not to go nuclear.

What, then, should Japan do? How could Japan be a more credible proponent of nuclear disarmament? This paper proposes that Japan should not remain silent, but be more vocal and take concrete actions. The government has for seven consecutive years introduced resolutions on nuclear disarmament at the UNGA to demonstrate its commitment to the elimination of nuclear weapons. It is time for Japan to put words into deeds, and conscientiously seek to take stronger initiatives.

As the world steps into a new century, gloom has replaced the euphoria that the world experienced immediately after the Cold War. The nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan in May 1998 reopened the discussion about the vulnerability of the non-proliferation regime. A possible build-up of Chinese and North Korean nuclear capabilities has, along with their missile testing, raised new security concerns in another key region, North East Asia. More fundamentally, the deteriorating political relationship between the United States and Russia, coupled with a conservative, anti-arms control backlash in both the Duma and the Congress - illustrated most dramatically by the Senate's October 1999 rejection of the CTBT - has created a serious impasse in the bilateral nuclear disarmament process.Although the Duma has now approved the ratification of both the CTBT and the START II Treaty, severe difficulties remain to be overcome, particularly with regard to the future of the ABM Treaty, before the US-Russia arms control agenda can safely said to be back on track.

In light of these dramatic changes in the global security environment, this paper focuses on four areas that demand urgent action to prevent further nuclear proliferation and to promote global and regional nuclear disarmament. In all of these areas, it will be argued, a more pro-active and dynamic contribution from Japan is both desirable and capable of exerting an important influence for positive change.

CTBT Implementation and the NPT Regime

When the NPT was indefinitely extended in 1995, it was understood by the non-nuclear-weapon states (NNWS) that, in exchange for their acceptance of indefinite extension, the nuclear-weapon states (NWS) would accept increased responsibility for promoting nuclear disarmament in good faith, in accordance with Article VI of the NPT. However, within most of the NNWS there remains considerable dissatisfaction over the lack of concrete accomplishments achieved during the five years since 1995. One example of this discontent is reflected in the resolution presented to the UNGA by the New Agenda Coalition, a group of NNWS that cuts across existing regional groupings6. The NAC introduced its resolution over two consecutive years (1998 and 1999), calling on the NWS to make "an unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the speedy and total elimination of their nuclear arsenals." Although all the NWS voted against it, thirteen NATO members plus Japan and Australia abstained, while more than one hundred nations voted in favour of it each year.

Unless there are new prospects for nuclear disarmament in the foreseeable future, and the NWS and their allies seriously come to grips with nuclear disarmament, some states may think twice about their commitment to the NPT. Even if a NNWS should withdraw from the NPT, this does not necessarily mean that it will seek to acquire nuclear weapons of its own. The majority of the NNWS are part of regional nuclear-weapon-free zone (NWFZ) treaties and thus dissatisfaction with the NPT should by no means be linked directly with a desire to possess nuclear weapons. However, should there be a growing number of countries that lose patience with an NPT that seems to serve only the interests of the NWS and their allies, the NPT could lose its credibility as a basis for promoting nuclear disarmament. As a consequence, both the non-proliferation regime, and attempts to achieve multilateral nuclear disarmament, would face a major crisis.

In order to avoid such a critical situation, the most urgent priority must be to ensure early implementation of the CTBT; this is a task that Japan should take a leading role in achieving.

The only - albeit valuable - achievement of multilateral nuclear disarmament efforts in the post-Cold War era has been the conclusion of the CTBT in 1996. Significant impetus for the conclusion of the accord was provided by the "Principles and Objectives" which were adopted as a "package deal" when the NPT was indefinitely extended in 1995 and which specifically made reference to completion of the CTBT negotiations by the end of 1996. Because the conclusion of the CTBT was the only commitment towards nuclear disarmament that was accompanied by a deadline in the "Principles and Objectives", the NWS - including the United States - put substantial energy into finalising the CTBT text in 1996. Nevertheless, the fate of the Treaty is radically uncertain. Entry into force requires the ratification of all 44 states listed as possessing nuclear facilities. Three of these states - India, Pakistan and North Korea - have yet to sign the Treaty, and seem unlikely to do so in the near future. Of the declared nuclear-weapon states, France, Britain, and now Russia have ratified, and China is expected to, but the US Senate's rejection is unlikely to be overturned while the Republican Party retains a firm grip on Congress, a situation of stalemate which will clearly delay efforts to persuade other states, particularly in South Asia, to make a decisive commitment.

If the worst comes to the worst and the CTBT becomes a "dead document", the international community will lose not only the legal basis for banning nuclear tests, but also the confidence that has been built between the NWS and NNWS since indefinite extension of the NPT. If the NWS fail to ratify the CTBT, it will be understood among the NNWS that the NWS would prefer to continue with nuclear testing and strengthen their nuclear capabilities. If the self-interest of the NWS is thus emphasized, discomfort over the inequality of the NPT will be amplified. Therefore, the entry into force of the CTBT is indispensable not only for the non-proliferation regime that the NWS vigorously want to maintain, but also for the international community which seeks to advance nuclear disarmament.

Japan, which advocates early entry into force of the CTBT, chaired the CTBT Article XIV Entry-Into-Force Special Conference held in Vienna in early October 1999. After the US Senate refused to ratify the CTBT shortly after the Special Conference, the Japanese Government immediately sent special missions to Washington, New Delhi and Islamabad to convey the Japanese Prime Minister's wish that the utmost efforts be directed towards early ratification. However, there still remains strong opposition among Republicans in the US Senate, and no prospect of ratification under the Clinton Administration. Moreover, the United States is no longer in a position to urge other states to ratify the CTBT, nor to create momentum for its early entry into force.

This vacuum of leadership badly needs to be filled. Japan should take a constructive lead along with the NWS that have already ratified the CTBT, such as Britain and France, and NNWS such as Germany and Canada, to encourage those countries that have not yet done so to ratify the Treaty. One of the measures which could be adopted is to establish some updated "Principles and Objectives" at the 2000 NPT Review Conference, which include specific reference to a deadline for the entry into force of the CTBT, and which reiterate the political responsibilities of the United States, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea to ratify the Treaty. As President Clinton stated when he signed the CTBT, it is "the longest-sought, hardest-fought prize in the history of arms control."

The 1995 "Principles and Objectives" state that the NWS "should exercise utmost restraint" with regard to conducting nuclear tests during the period before the CTBT enters into force. In the updated "Principles and Objectives" this phrase should be amended to prohibit nuclear tests, even before the entry into force of the CTBT. In this way, further nuclear tests should be, de facto, eliminated.

Reform of the NPT and Multilateral Disarmament

A Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) was set up even before the Treaty entered into force in order to renew the verification regime and promote CTBT ratification. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was also established a few years after the entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention to support the implementation of that convention. However, the NPT - which entered into force in 1970 and has more than 180 member states - has yet to establish an executive organisation. Since its inception, the NPT has relied upon the IAEA for verifying the fulfilment of obligations assumed under the Treaty. In order to strengthen the non-proliferation regime through the NPT, the 2000 Review Conference should establish a Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Organization (NPTO) that includes a Permanent Secretariat and Standing Committee to institutionalise negotiations on nuclear disarmament.7

The principal tasks of the NPTO would be to strengthen the NPT regime and review the processes of the Treaty, which would include monitoring the implementation of the updated "Principles and Objectives." Although indefinite extension of the NPT was realised only as a result of a package of decisions including a strengthened review process, the three preparatory committees held from 1997 to 1999 failed to agree on either substantive or procedural matters. The NWS must acknowledge that nuclear disarmament is an essential component of non-proliferation, and that the shortcomings of the review process must be rectified so that nuclear disarmament can be negotiated in an ongoing forum.

The NPTO should also take up the challenge of a new and innovative task, namely to facilitate the commencement of negotiations on a Framework Convention on Nuclear Weapons (FCNW), based on Article VI of the NPT8. The FCNW could be modeled after the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer (Vienna Convention) and the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC). Both of these conventions first established their basic objectives and principles through "framework conventions," and then the member states concluded protocols that elaborated numerical targets and timetables. Likewise, the FCNW should first clearly set forth the commitment to conclude separate protocols to achieve comprehensive nuclear disarmament.

Article VI of the NPT reads: "[E]ach of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control." The "Principles and Objectives" adopted in 1995 state that the NWS "reaffirm their commitment, as stated in Article VI, to pursue in good faith negotiations on effective measures relating to nuclear disarmament." The adoption of the "Principles and Objectives" was, as mentioned earlier, a "package" deal along with indefinite extension of the NPT, and as such established a clear, sound basis for the NWS to commit themselves to the FCNW. The incremental nature of this process should ease the participation of the NWS since the FCNW would not itself include numerical targets or timetables for nuclear disarmament. Even if member states were not able to agree on specific protocols in a short time, the FCNW would partially contribute to implementing the obligations of the NWS spelled out in Article VI.

Although the legal foundation for negotiations on the FCNW would be Article VI of the NPT, the negotiation conference would need, however, to be independent of the NPT. The reason for this is, firstly, that the FCNW should seek to address comprehensive nuclear disarmament based on multilateral negotiations directed towards "nuclear elimination", and not just be limited to the task of preventing the "horizontal proliferation" of nuclear weapons. Secondly, this would enable the participation of states that are non-members of the NPT, such as India, Pakistan, and Israel. By opening the door for India and Pakistan, in particular, to join the negotiations on comprehensive nuclear disarmament, these countries should have no excuse for being critical of - or refusing to join - the NPT.

Once the FCNW is concluded, the member states should move on to negotiate protocols as soon as possible. Protocols could cover a variety of agenda items including a Fissile Materials Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT), the international storage or management of plutonium and highly enriched uranium, and negative security assurances, among others.

Bearing in mind the fact that the arms control gloom which dominated the latter half of the 1990s was largely due to a lack of political leadership from the NWS, it is also imperative that Japan co-operate closely with other non-nuclear allies of the United States, as well as with NAC countries, to convince all states which possess nuclear weapons to join efforts to establish an NPTO, and subsequently an FCNW. Japan could act as a facilitator in sponsoring and funding the meetings at the initial preparatory stages.

A North East Asia Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone

In addition to global efforts on nuclear disarmament, a high priority should be placed on regional disarmament arrangements. Among various initiatives for establishing regional NWFZs, special attention should be paid to North East Asia (Japan and the Korean Peninsula). This is, first, because three of the NWS face each other in this region: China, the United States, and Russia. In addition, potential nuclear capable actors such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, as well as North Korea, are located in or near the region. Secondly, in contrast to Europe where the Cold War is now history, remnants of the Cold War are still present in North East Asia, giving rise to an urgent need for a new security regime in the region. Easing tension in this region would also have positive impacts on global nuclear disarmament efforts.

The NWS also have incentives to establish a NWFZ in North East Asia. Doing so would not only ensure that North Korea renounces nuclear weapons, but would also reinforce Japan and South Korea's commitment to non-proliferation. Apprehensions about the possibility of Japan developing nuclear weapons would be practically eliminated if Japan were to join such a legally binding instrument, in addition to the NPT. Also, the potential danger that a reunified Korean Peninsular might inherit North Korea's potential nuclear capability, should unification occur, would be erased.9

Undoubtedly, the most immediate concern is posed by North Korea: a concern that took on a new dimension when North Korea launched a medium-range Taepo-Dong missile in August 1998. North Korea, a country that suffers from poverty, famine, and international isolation, shocked the international community with this demonstration of its missile technology. Efforts by the United States, South Korea, Japan and others - through the US-North Korea Agreed Framework of October 1994 - to provide proliferation resistant light-water reactors in exchange for North Korea terminating its dubious nuclear programmes seem not to have dissuaded North Korea from taking such provocative actions.

The current focus is on how North Korea will respond to the Perry initiative, a comprehensive policy review conducted by former US Defense Secretary William Perry at the request of President Clinton. The new policy - the "Perry process" - presented to the President and the Congress in September 1999, uses a carrot-and-stick approach to entice Pyongyang to curtail its missile and nuclear ambitions: that is, further negative developments will bring further sanctions, while co-operation brings rewards. Following bilateral talks with the United States, North Korea agreed to refrain from conducting further missile tests, in exchange for the partial lifting of economic sanctions imposed on it by the United States ever since the Korean War in the 1950s.

Soon after this US effort to eventually normalise diplomatic relations with Pyongyang, Japan agreed to resume preliminary talks on the normalisation of diplomatic ties between Japan and North Korea. It remains to be seen whether this initiative will produce any tangible results, especially when non-security concerns such as the "abduction issue" - suspected kidnappings of Japanese citizens by North Korean agents - remains a major political stumbling block between the two countries. Nevertheless, the concerned states must seize this opportunity and strive to engage North Korea in a constructive dialogue. As the Perry report emphasises, the establishment by Washington, Tokyo and Seoul of a framework to jointly deal with future situations is imperative. Such joint efforts would set a solid foundation for beginning negotiations on establishing a nuclear-free North East Asia.

A key factor in the process toward a North East Asia NWFZ is the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO), established in March 1995 on the basis of the United States-North Korean Agreed Framework. KEDO assists North Korea in building light-water nuclear reactors for electric power generation. The question of how best to utilise KEDO in the future will be an important issue related to a non-nuclear North East Asia. First of all, it will be important for the concerned parties to fulfil KEDO's initial mandates10. Doing so will not only keep North Korea from having an excuse for nuclear weapons development, but will also be important in building trust among North Korea and the other states concerned. But even if KEDO's current limited mission is successful as a catalyst in clarifying North Korea's status as a NNWS, it cannot completely assure denuclearisation. Even with the decommissioning of a spent-fuel reprocessing plant and carbon reactors from which weapons-grade plutonium can be extracted, as the KEDO mission stands today there is no way of guaranteeing that each nuclear-related facility is inspected and its use verified by an internationally authorised body.

One way of compensating for this would be by incrementally empowering KEDO so that it evolved into an organ like the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM, established in 1957), with the simultaneous task of promoting both the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. EURATOM originally came into being as a means of promoting the peaceful use of nuclear energy in Germany while preventing that country from developing nuclear weapons, but later it became an important stepping-stone towards the political and economic unification of Europe. EURATOM has its own mechanism of inspections and verification, which ensures a double-lock system along with IAEA safeguards.

Taking this as an instructive precedent, KEDO could eventually evolve into a system of co-operation that would include, for example, the transfer of safety technologies, safety training at nuclear energy facilities, the management and disposal of nuclear wastes, development of other types of energy technologies, and measures for environmental protection. In working towards this goal, a concept for modifying KEDO - as well as an expanded North East Asia nuclear energy community - could be discussed through "twin-track" diplomacy. In the longer term, these discussions could be used as a stepping-stone towards official negotiations.

A programme for the use of plutonium in nuclear power plants is a potential window of proliferation. Today, Japan is the only non-nuclear-weapon state that has active program of plutonium use in this region. As long as Japan maintains its position on plutonium use, it will be extremely difficult for her to convince other members of the NWFZ in North East Asia not to adopt the plutonium economy. Therefore, Japan should freeze plutonium fuel cycle option, and adopt one-through policy of nuclear energy.

An important factor in institutionalising such a process to create the NWFZ in North East Asia would be the participation of China. Although China is not a member of KEDO, and its influence over North Korea should not be overestimated, engaging China in the dialogue would be essential in establishing a regional NWFZ. As stated earlier, China is a major player in the region and so tensions in US-China relations, in particular, would inevitably make it more difficult to undertake constructive initiatives.

One important way in which China should be engaged would be for it to provide legally binding negative security assurances to Japan, South Korea and North Korea. This could also be promoted by the other two NWS that have a large stake in the region doing likewise. Such an effort should be seen as complementary to the global Protocol on Negative Security Assurances that has already been proposed. Negative security assurances would also provide realistic incentives to Japan, South Korea and North Korea to participate in establishing a regional NWFZ.

At the same time, it is indispensable that all the relevant states strongly urge North Korea to join the CWC. Although North Korea has already ratified the BWC, doubts still remain about its possible possession of chemical weapons. The United States, which maintains its option to use nuclear weapons to counter the use of any weapons of mass destruction (WMD), will not agree to such negative security assurances unless there is a clear commitment by North Korea to renounce all types of WMD. Therefore, it is also be necessary for all states concerned to convince North Korea to abandon all its options for WMD-development.

Refraining from TMD Deployment

The United States is actively considering the deployment of two types of ballistic missile defense systems: a US national missile defence (NMD) system designed to protect the United States from attacks by a limited number of intercontinental-range ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and a theatre missile defense (TMD) system designed to counter short-range missiles launched at US troops and allies abroad. However, the ABM Treaty only allows for the construction of very limited missile defence systems. In order to deploy the ballistic missile defence systems (BMDs) it would like to, the United States will either have to modify the Treaty - which Russia has said it will not agree to11 - or abrogate it - a move which Russia has said it will respond to by withdrawing from all its nuclear arms control commitments and refusing to enter any further negotiations.

Russia and China jointly introduced a resolution on the "preservation of and compliance with the ABM Treaty" to the UNGA in late 1999, and while 68 countries, including Japan,abstained and four countries (Israel, Latvia, Micronesia and the US)voted against, 80 voted in favour, including France.

The Russian Foreign Ministry emphasized the significance of the ABM Treaty and its opposition to NMD by stating "the results of the vote are a reflection of the increased concern of the world community over the fate of the ABM Treaty, which is the basis of world strategic stability and of the entire system of international accords on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, in connection with the US plans to develop a national ABM system, a system that is prohibited by the Treaty."12

For its part, China's long-term concern is that initially limited TMD systems might evolve into full-scale NMD systems. In the words of China's UN Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs: "The so-called Theater Missile Defense systems… which certain countries are going all out to develop will in fact possess the capacity to intercept strategic missiles, thus breaking the limits imposed by the ABM Treaty and rendering the treaty virtually meaningless."13 Specifically, China is worried that deployment of a TMD system in Japan will eventually lead to deployment in Taiwan. If the United States decides to deploy NMD and accordingly continues to pressure Russia to agree to modify the ABM Treaty or, without such an agreement, abandons the Treaty, it is hard to see how serious military and political destabilisation on a global scale could realistically be avoided. In the Asian context, China would be highly likely to accelerate its efforts to obtain Multiple Independently-Targetable Re-entry Vehicle (MIRVed) ICBMs, precipitating a new nuclear arms race. This, in turn, would doubtless be used to justify new, enhanced missile defences, thus drastically reducing the likelihood that the initial NMD deployment decision would ever be reversed.

Despite these huge dangers and ominous stormclouds, the United States and Japan are jointly proceeding with TMD research, based on a Memorandum of Understanding signed in August 1999. The Japanese Government explained this decision as a reaction to the launching of the Taepo-Dong missile by North Korea, interpreting TMD as a means to counter further North Korean missiles. Japan should take an extremely cautious approach towards the proposed TMD system: if the TMD system is really designed to deter any future missile attack by North Korea, Japan should refrain from deploying it as long as North Korea remains committed to the Perry process. Japan should also make clear to China that should it decide to employ TMD, the system would not be targeted against Chinese missiles, nor would it be used to defend Taiwan. Japan should also urge the United States to refrain from deploying a TMD system in Taiwan.

Instead of overestimating the utility of a TMD system, whose military capabilities are still far from demonstrated, Japan should consciously try to advance the Perry process and achieve diplomatic normalisation with North Korea. As for the NMD system, its deployment should be moderated to maintain the current ABM Treaty framework. Preventing any worsening of regional tension is the purpose of confidence building measures, and, as such, they should be used to facilitate the establishment of a NWFZ in North East Asia.

From Words to Deeds

In October 1999, the then Vice-Minister of the Japan Self-Defense Agency, Shingo Nishimura, shocked the world by stating that the Diet should consider the option of possessing nuclear weapons.14 Although he was immediately dismissed from his post and the government reiterated its official position of maintaining Japan's non-nuclear status, his statement evoked severe criticism and suspicion of Japan's "potential ambitions".

This incident brought to the surface an underlying problem: the lack of sufficient sensitivity in Japan to the concerns that exist abroad. Actually, the great majority of Japanese have a strong aversion to nuclear weapons and could not imagine Japan developing such weapons of its own. Nevertheless, to firmly demonstrate that Japan will never become a NWS, and that she is a credible actor in the nuclear disarmament process, Japan will have to take concrete actions, rather than make rhetorical statements. Only through deeds can Japan make a "positive-sum game" a reality, both within Japan and the international community.

Notes and References

1. The Tokyo Forum on Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, attended by twenty-five experts from eighteen countries, including all nuclear-weapon states, India and Pakistan, held four meetings in Tokyo (August 30-31), Hiroshima (December 18-19), New York (April 9-10), and Tokyo (July 23-25), and presented its final proposal, "Facing Nuclear Dangers: An Action Plan for the 21st Century," on July 25. The full text of the report is available from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs http://www.mofa.go.jp. See also Disarmament Diplomacy No. 39, July/August 1999.

2. The full text of the report of the Canberra Commission is available on the website of the Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, http://www.dfat.gov.au/dfat/cc/cchome.html. The site also has a wealth of information on the Commission's establishment and mandate.

3. A recent example of this self-constraining tendency may be Japan's reluctance to associate itself with the New Agenda Coalition initiative. The Japanese Government's establishment of the Tokyo Forum can perhaps be seen in part as an attempt to re-emphasize Japan's credentials as a strong, pro-active, high-profile, pro-disarmament state, albeit one unable to criticise nuclear policies and doctrines with the same degree of political consistency and credibility as is possible for New Agenda states.

4. A recent opinion poll conducted jointly by the Asahi Shimbun and the Harris Poll showed that 49% of Americans saw the purpose of the US bases stationed in Japan as a means to prevent militarisation by Japan. The Asahi Shimbun, April 13, 1999, p. 1.

5. The government signed the treaty on February 3, 1970 but did not ratify it until June 8, 1976.

6. The NAC was launched by a declaration - 'A Nuclear-Weapons-Free World: The Need for a New Agenda' - released on June 9, 1998, by Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Slovenia (which subsequently disassociated itself from the initiative), South Africa and Sweden. For the full text of the declaration and related materials, see Disarmament Diplomacy No. 27, June 1998.

7. The establishment of a permanent secretariat and consultative commission for the NPT formed one of the recommendations of the Tokyo Forum.

8.The Institute for International Policy Studies (IIPS - Tokyo), the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (BCSIA) of Harvard University also propose to establish a Framework Convention on Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. See "Joint Proposal on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament", Research Institutes of Japan, Germany, and the United States, March 5, 1999. Full text available on the website of IIPS, http://www.iips.org/joint.html.

9. Morton Halperin, Director of the Office of the Policy Planning at the State Department, stated that the "US policy continues to be premised on the assumption that further reductions in the US nuclear arsenal, accompanied by no-first use guarantees, would increase the chances that Japan would develop nuclear weapons," but he concludes that "if the United States took the lead in suggesting a North East Asia nuclear free zone, Japan would not find it possible to resist. …the concern of Japanese leaders about the future direction of a unified Korean government creates an opportunity for the United States to involve Japan in an effort to resolve the situation in a way that would both strengthen the non-nuclear status of Japan and Korea…" See The Nuclear Dimension of the US-Japan Alliance, East Asia Nuclear Policy, the Nautilus Institute, July 9, 1999.

10. The implementation of the Agreed Framework by KEDO has been dogged by delays and financial crises. The original date set for the completed construction of the replacement nuclear reactors was 2003; it is now set at 2007. See Disarmament Diplomacy No. 42, December 1999, for details of the current situation.

11. With regard to the proposed TMD system, the United States and Russia agreed in September 1997 to the following points: that a TMD system is a system with interceptor missiles whose maximum demonstrated velocities are not to exceed, and have not exceeded, 3.09 kilometers/second; and that the TMD components or systems will not violate the ABM Treaty if the target missile does not exceed a velocity of 5.0 kilometers/second, or a range of 3500 kilometers. The purpose of this agreement was to make it impossible for the United States to defend against Russian strategic missiles.

12. Statement by the Official Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, December 4, 1999, unofficial translation.

13. Statement by Sha Zukang, China's UN Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs, before the UN General Assembly on October 18, 1996.

14. See Disarmament Diplomacy No. 41, November 1999, for Nishimura's remarks.

Motoko Mekata is a Research Fellow at the Tokyo Foundation. The Foundation - an independent, non-profit policy think tank - has initiated a year-long research project on nuclear disarmament issues, designed to form part of the three year 'Project Alliance Tomorrow' initiative headed by Yoichi Funabashi, Chief Diplomatic Correspondent for The Asahi Shimbun. The initiative's research on nuclear issues led to the establishment of a study group that brought together five Japanese scholars, as well as drawing on international expertise. While this paper is based largely on the study group discussions, the opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.

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