Japan’s Kishida mulls attending NPT review conference

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks at a press conference at his office on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida might deliver a speech at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference to be held in New York from Jan. 4, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

It is unusual for the leader of a major country to attend an NPT review meeting. If Kishida attends the conference, it would be a first for a Japanese prime minister.

According to government sources, the prime minister might visit the United States from Jan. 4 to 6.

Kishida has called his efforts toward a world without nuclear weapons his “lifework,” and has high regard for the conference, which includes both nuclear and non-nuclear states.

If Kishida delivers a speech, he is expected to announce a plan that includes steps to realize a world without nuclear weapons.

However, the trip could be canceled depending on the pandemic situation in the United States.

The Japanese government had been hoping to schedule the first official summit between Kishida and U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington during the trip, but the sides were unable to arrange a meeting.

The government is also trying to arrange a summit in Australia between Kishida and Prime Minister Scott Morrison immediately after the U.S. trip.

If the summit is held, strengthening Japan-Australia cooperation in the field of defense is likely to be the main agenda.