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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 30, 1974

UNITED NATIONS BUREAU, JAPANESE FOREIGN MINISTRY, 'OUTLINE OF ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST JAPAN’S NPT RATIFICATION

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    A table outlining the various arguments for and against Japan's ratification of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
    "United Nations Bureau, Japanese Foreign Ministry, 'Outline of Arguments For and Against Japan’s NPT Ratification," August 30, 1974, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, File No. 2014-5384. Contributed by Yoko Iwama and Yu Takeda and translated by Ju Hyung Kim. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/250405
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Outline of Arguments For and Against Japan’s NPT Ratification

August 30, 1974

  United Nations Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Items

Pros

Cons

Note

Characteristics of the Treaty and the significance of Japan’s ratification

By preventing nuclear proliferation, the risk of an outbreak of a nuclear war reduces, while the stability of international relations enhances. Such development is desirable for the security of our country (non-nuclear weapons state).

The distinction between nuclear and non-nuclear states, especially the  fixation of the superior position of the United States and the Soviet Union for a long period of time.

Each of the Parties to the Treaty promises to pursue negotiations in good faith with regard to nuclear disarmament (Article VI).

Dismissal of suspicions about Japan’s nuclear armament and establishment of its position as a peaceful nation.

Perpetuation of Japan’s “subordination to the United States.” (mainly the Communist Party)

In order to review the operation of this Treaty, a conference of the Parties will be held in Geneva five years after the entry into force of the Treaty. (If proposed by a majority of the Parties, it shall be held every five years thereafter.) The first meeting is scheduled for May 1975.

The dissolution of the distinction between nuclear and non-nuclear weapons states should be carried out through nuclear disarmament, not through nuclear proliferation.

Non-possession

of nuclear weapons

To our country, going nuclear is not only difficult, but also not advisable. Therefore, the so-called freehand on nuclear armament is nothing more than an illusion.

Losing the freehand on nuclear armament.

Can withdraw with a notice three-months in advance if an “extraordinary events… have jeopardized the supreme interests of its country.” (Article X)

Peaceful use of nuclear energy

It is necessary to enter the NPT and clarify Japan's stance in order to promote international cooperation, which is increasingly necessary for the peaceful use of nuclear energy. (Nuclear industry)

Acceptance of NPT safeguard measures cause leakage of industrial secrets and hinders the development of the nuclear industry. (Tokyo Institute of Technology Professor Nozawa, etc.)

In relation to the obligation of Parties to promote international cooperation in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy (Article IV), the United States has established a policy of favoring Parties in assistance of nuclear technology through the IAEA.

Compared to current safeguards, safeguards under the NPT have been simplified and streamlined. The latter will also be improved to prevent leakage of industrial secrets. (Details in the Attachment)

There is no need to worry about the supply of nuclear fuel even if Japan did not join the NPT. (Tokyo Institute of Technology Professor Nozawa, etc.)

Almost all of Japan’s nuclear materials are already under IAEA safeguards, in accordance with the bilateral nuclear agreement.

To secure a stable supply of nuclear fuel, it is advantageous to join the NPT. (Nuclear industry)

Since 1971, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission’s uranium enrichment contracts with foreign customers clearly state that the U.S. government has the right to unilaterally terminate the contracts whenever it is placed in a position incompatible with its obligations under the NPT. (Regarding our country, it is confirmed by the side letter)

(Note) The United States, a Party to the NPT, is obliged not to provide nuclear fuel to non-nuclear weapons states unless the safeguards referred to Article III.2 of the NPT apply.

Relationship with the government statement at the time of the signature

Things have improved since the signature of the agreement on disarmament, the security of non-nuclear weapons states (our country), and equality in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

No satisfactory progress has been made.

Regarding disarmament, there are achievements such as the SALT I Treaty, the U.S.-Soviet Agreement on the Prevention of Nuclear War, the U.S.-Soviet Threshold Test Ban Treaty, and the Biological Weapons Ban Convention.

As for the security of our country, there were easing of tensions such as the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China, while the Japan-U.S. security arrangements have been firmly maintained.

We reached to an agreement in principle with the IAEA to ensure equality in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

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