Statement Calling on the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to advance concrete and effective proposals at the Review Conference of the Parties to the NPT that will lead to a world without nuclear weapons
In August 2022, the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (the “NPT”) will take place at the UN headquarters in New York.
The Tenth Review Conference had originally been planned to be held in April 2020.
However, the Tenth Review Conference was postponed four times due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and it will finally be convened in August 2022. Despite the agreements of the Review Conferences held in 2000 and 2010, efforts for non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament have remained stagnant, partially due to the repeated postponements of the Tenth Review Conference.
The Japan Federation of Bar Associations (the “JFBA”) issued the “Statement Calling on the Japanese Government to Take an Active Role at the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons” on December 9, 2021. However, a legal framework towards a world without nuclear weapons, involving nuclear-weapon states and nuclear-dependent states, has not yet been established. It appears that some in Japan and in other countries are speaking against the NPT promoting non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament by threatening the use of nuclear weapons, supporting nuclear sharing or reviewing the three non-nuclear principles of not possessing or producing nuclear weapons and not permitting their entry into Japan.
Article VI of the NPT imposes obligations to pursue negotiations in good faith relating to the cessation of the nuclear arms race, nuclear disarmament, and a treaty on general and complete disarmament. This statement is understood as nuclear-weapon states committing themselves to nuclear disarmament, thereby establishing a legal framework towards a world without nuclear weapons, in combination with preventing the spread of nuclear weapons to non-nuclear-weapon states.
In addition, Japan and the U.S. reaffirm the obligations of all states parties under the NPT, including Article VI.
Nevertheless, after the NPT entered into force, a legal framework required to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons based on the premise of participation of nuclear-weapon states and nuclear-dependent states, has not yet been established.
In the postponed Tenth Review Conference, a legal framework required to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons has to be established and non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament need to be promoted.
Therefore, the JFBA calls on the Japanese government to advance concrete and effective proposals towards a world without nuclear weapons at the Tenth Review Conference, in which Prime Minster Kishida has indicated he will participate by referring to the Model Nuclear Weapons Convention submitted by Costa Rica and other governments as a UN document, as well as other documents.
July 14, 2022
Japan Federation of Bar Associations