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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 October 21 - 27  > Chief Cabinet Secretary: Japan will not sign nuclear weapons ban treaty
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2020 October 21 - 27 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Chief Cabinet Secretary: Japan will not sign nuclear weapons ban treaty

October 27, 2020

Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu on October 26 in his regular briefing commented on the news that the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty will take effect on January 22 of 2021, and repeated the Japanese government’s position to not sign and ratify the treaty.

Kato said that along with no support from nuclear weapons states, it is questionable whether the treaty has sufficient support from non-nuclear weapons states. He said, “Given that the security environment is becoming increasingly precarious, it is appropriate for Japan to promote nuclear disarmament while properly dealing with security threats by such means as maintaining and enhancing deterrence capabilities. Japan will not sign the antinuke UN treaty because its approach is different from Japan’s.” Accordingly, Kato indicated that Japan will stick to a stance clinging to nuclear deterrence.

Furthermore, regarding the first conference of the state Parties to the treaty which will be held within a year after the treaty’s entry into force, Kato avoided making concrete comments on whether Japan will participate in the conference as an observer.

The UN treaty prohibits not only the use and possession of nuclear weapons but also the threat to use such weapons. As the participation in the treaty is tantamount to admitting that the U.S. nuclear umbrella is illegal, the Japanese government is unwilling to sign and ratify the treaty.

On the other hand, the focal point of international movements for the elimination of nuclear weapons after the nuclear weapons ban treaty goes into force will be how to push countries under the nuclear umbrella to sign and ratify the treaty. Japan will inevitably face fierce international pressure.

Past related articles:
> Hiroshima Hibakusha call for just 12 more countries to ratify and thus bring into force UN anti-nuke treaty [July 5, 2020]
> Nearly 12 million signatures collected in support of Hibakusha’s appeal for elimination of nuclear weapons [June 25, 2020]
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