Remarks by Takaya Suto
Director of the Center for the Promotion of Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, Japan Institute of International Affairs
ISTC 10 Year Anniversary
Thursday, 28 October 2004
Mr. Chairman, distinguished representatives, distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentleman,
I am very pleased to celebrate the 10th anniversary of ISTC together with the representatives from the Original Signatories; the United States, EU and Russia. Further, I wholeheartedly welcome participation of Canada in last March, as it will certainly contribute to furtherance of ISTC.
In 1992, when the Agreement establishing ISTC was signed, I was Director-General for Scientific and Technological Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and as such, I was personally involved in the establishing process of ISTC. I recall that it was not an easy task to persuade the Ministries concerned to come forward in establishing ISTC and, in particular, to make financial contributions. Therefore, I am very happy to speak to you, on behalf of my Government, in this august occasion of commemorating the 10th anniversary of ISTC.
Today, the world is facing against threats of development, possession, and use of weapons of mass destruction, such as nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, as well as missiles by terrorist groups and rogue states. To these groups or states, the traditional concept of deterrence does not work effectively, and because of these characteristics, it is perceived as “new type of threats.” The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 in the United States made us realize that the new type of threats are real and threaten our everyday lives. Further, development of weapons of mass destruction and missiles by North Korea and the suspicious activities by Iran revealed in 2002 to 2004 have raised serious concerns in the international community, thus proliferation of weapons of mass destruction has been identified as one of the most serious problems in international politics. Under such circumstances, it is internationally recognized as crucial that management and control regime of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons in the former Soviet Union should be reinforced to prevent these weapons from proliferating to terrorist groups or rogue states. In this respect, G8 Global Partnership is playing an important role.
In order to cope with such a new security environment, it is becoming very important to maintain and reinforce the international disarmament and non-proliferation regime. For this reason, Japan has been participating in every multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation regime, and actively making diplomatic efforts to reinforce them. As the only nation in the history of mankind that has suffered the devastation of nuclear weapons dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, we, the people of Japan, are determined never to possess nuclear weapons, and we believe in our mission to strongly appeal to the world the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
In order for the multilateral regimes of disarmament and non-proliferation to function effectively, we believe that five elements must function appropriately and adequately. They are; (1) rule-making, (2) implementation of the rules by each participating state, (3) verification of the compliance by each participating state, (4) remedy measures against violation of the rules, and (5) expansion of participating states, that is, universalization. Japan plays significant role in every aspect. As to rule-making, Japan has made active contribution, such as to launch the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCOC), as well as to formulate the IAEA’s Model Additional Protocol. Regarding the implementation of the rules, Japan has been contributing to the human resources development in developing countries in the context of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) by offering global seismic observation training and providing seismic observation instruments. With regard to the verification of the compliance, Japan has positively contributed to the reinforcement of the IAEA safeguards, a verification mechanism in the area of nuclear non-proliferation. Japan also concluded the additional protocol with IAEA in December 1999 as the first nation to do so among those engaged in nuclear power generation. As for the compliance and remedy measures against violation of the rules, Japan has actively participated in Proliferation Security Initiative, PSI, since its establishment. In this respect, I welcome the recent participation of Russia in the initiative. For the universalization of multinational disarmament and non-proliferation treaties such as the NPT and the CTBT, Japanese government is working at a high-level on many countries to adhere to these treaties at an early stage.
I would like to add in this respect that because of great significance Japan attaches to further strengthen its diplomatic approach for disarmament and non-proliferation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs promoted sections in charge of disarmament and non-proliferation to a department level in August 2004, in order to take more strategic and active approach in the future.
Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen,
I now wish to make a few observations and comments with regard to ISTC.
Considering that ISTC has been engaged in preventive activities against proliferation of technology and knowledge concerning weapons of mass destruction for as long as ten years under such international circumstances as stated above, we are greatly impressed by foresight, and unprecedented and unique nature of ISTC compared with other international organizations. I believe we should be more proud of this organization in the international community.
For the last ten years since establishment of ISTC, Japan has supported as many as 200 projects and provided 58 million US dollars in total. Recently, Japan conducted overall evaluation on achievements by these projects. Allow me to introduce a part of the results that may interest you.
Firstly, as to the role of ISTC, all the institutions participated in this research evaluated the role of ISTC very highly. The most significant reason for this is the ISTC’s great contribution in keeping the researchers from draining away. Another significant reason is its high transparency. In other words, ISTC transferred project money not to the research institutions but directly to the personal bank accounts of the individual researchers, and the Secretariat procured equipment and materials by itself and provided them to the research institutions. Under this scheme, we are expecting that the Russian researchers and engineers, who worked in a closed environment before, will be able to deepen their marketability of their own talents and obtain a chance to create civilian products that may profit them, through their direct contacts with private and governmental research institutes of western countries and Japan in implementing assistance projects. In fact, many research institutions are making various efforts to shift from passive attitude maintained during the era of the former Soviet Union to active attitude for military-to-civilian conversion. On the other hand, the evaluation results also made clear such problems as reduction of a basic research section and a manufacture section, aging of researchers and lack of young researchers. What is needed for many Russian research institutions is to actively utilize not only ISTC funds but also basic research funds by Russia, and other funds provided by western countries. Also, urgently needed is to cultivate research management ability on the part of the Russian researchers in order to promote exchanges with private companies of the West. Specific research programs entrusted by private companies of the West including Japan need to be implemented speedily and efficiently within a limited time and budget, so that research management ability to control proceedings is indispensable for the project managers who are responsible for carrying out such programs. In this sense, it is important for many research institutions to pursue partner projects more actively in the future. For example, the research results obtained by the regular projects could be further used to develop partner projects, which can be expected to have a larger market scale and value than regular projects do.
Mr. Chairman, distinguished participants,
Ten years have passed since the establishment of ISTC. During this period, as I mentioned earlier, ISTC has expanded the scope of its activities. In 2003, ISTC was restructured to upgrade efficiency of the organization under the leadership of the Executive Director. Through this restructuring, the Deputy Executive Directors came to take charge of the organization based on the functions rather than by the regions. Besides, the participation of Canada, as I mentioned earlier, is expected to contribute greatly to reinforce ISTC’s activities in terms of human and financial resources.
Compared with the circumstances 10 years ago, the Russia’s economic situation has been improving, and the concern regarding brain drain of the researchers related to weapons of mass destruction is decreasing. Still, I hear that the living economic conditions of the researchers remain hard and, thus, there are still needs for the international community to continue supporting ISTC.
For their independence and development, ISTC should put emphasis on improving the researchers ability to survive in the market economy by commercializing their technology and improving their business skills.
ISTC is an international organization open to every country. I hope that ISTC will broaden its activities by appealing for participation to other countries than the current supporting members of Japan, the US, EU, Canada, ROK and Norway. I also hope that, by doing so, ISTC’s activities will be further strengthened under the current international proliferation regime.
Lastly, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to the Russian Government and its people working for ISTC, who have done a great job in hosting this magnificent meeting of ISTC’s 10th anniversary.
Thank you very much.