Japan can serve as bridge between nuclear, non-nuclear powers

Minoru Terada, a special adviser to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, spoke to The Yomiuri Shimbun about the government’s efforts toward nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. The following is excerpted from his remarks.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has widened the gap between nuclear powers and non-nuclear states. Japan’s role is to seek both sides to make compromises and build consensus toward nuclear disarmament, even if only in stages.

It will be important to get the nuclear powers, especially China, to disclose the number of nuclear warheads they possess and commit to phasing them out.

Confidence in the Non-Proliferation Treaty could be lost if no agreement is reached at the review conference scheduled to be held this year, as was the case at the previous gathering in 2015.

Prime Minister Kishida has instructed me to do my utmost to ensure an agreement is reached.

As the international security environment is worsening, I want to continue efforts to work with the participating nations to make sure the momentum for nuclear disarmament does not fade following the postponement of the conference.

As a person hailing from Hiroshima and the son of an atomic bomb victim, I am determined to continue spreading the message about the inhumanity of nuclear weapons.

In addition to improving the transparency of nuclear forces, I want to aim for an agreement on the early ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and the immediate start of negotiations for the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty.

Nuclear threats posed by such states as North Korea exist and technology is advancing. Nuclear weapons must be steadily reduced while taking the security environment into consideration.