JCP

Request to the 10th Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference

SHII Kazuo,
Chair of the Executive Committee of the Japanese Communist Party
Member of the House of Representatives of Japan

December 27, 2021
Tokyo


While the international community is strongly calling for progress toward a "world without nuclear weapons," the nuclear weapon states are modernizing their nuclear forces and strengthening their reliance on nuclear weapons. To the 10th NPT Review Conference, which will be held under these grave circumstances, as a member of civil society, I would like to make the following request.

We call for the common recognition of the inhumanity of nuclear weapons by States Parties.

As the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have shown, the use of nuclear weapons can cause unspeakable pain and suffering. Even if only a small percentage of the existing nuclear weapons are used, the devastating effects on the natural environment are expected to be felt worldwide. The NPT treaty itself acknowledges that a nuclear war would be a catastrophe for all mankind.

We call on the 10th NPT Review Conference to return to this starting point, to listen sincerely to the voices of Hibakusha and victims of nuclear tests, and to recognize the devastating humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons. We call on the States Parties to the NPT to recognize the inhumanity of the use of nuclear weapons.

We ask that the 2000 and 2010 agreements be reaffirmed and implemented.

The only guarantee to eradicate the danger of the use of nuclear weapons is their total abolition. Article VI of the NPT requires all parties to the treaty to negotiate for the reduction and elimination of nuclear arms. The entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Nuclear Weapons, which outlaws nuclear weapons for the first time in history, is part of such efforts, and our party wholeheartedly welcomes it.

The only reason the international community has accepted the unprecedented discriminatory regime that allows only the five major powers to possess nuclear weapons and forbids other countries to do so is because the NPT requires the reduction and elimination of nuclear weapons in Article VI of the treaty. If the nuclear weapon states continue to fail to fulfill their obligations under Article VI, the NPT regime itself will be fundamentally shaken.

A sincere attitude to work for the fulfillment of Article VI is the foundation needed for a successful meeting.

To date, the NPT Review Conference has been guided by " the engagement as soon as appropriate of all the nuclear-weapon States in the process leading to the total elimination of their nuclear weapons" and " an unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear weapon States to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament" (Final Document, 2000), as well as by the importance of the "all States [to] need to make special efforts to establish the necessary framework to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons" (2010 Final Document), both of which have been unanimously confirmed.

We strongly urge the 10th NPT Review Conference to reaffirm these principles, and to take concrete steps to implement them.

We call for progress in partial measures for nuclear disarmament.

It is also important to move forward with partial measures to achieve nuclear disarmament, such as the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), a treaty banning the production of fissile materials for weapons (cut-off treaty), no first use of nuclear weapons, a ban on the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states, and a treaty on nuclear-free zones around the world. The full implementation of the resolution adopted at the 1995 Review Conference to create a Middle East Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone is essential for the success of the conference.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more obvious that the buildup of military power, including building more nuclear weapons, will not enhance anyone's security. The need for global disarmament has never been greater. We urge all States Parties to the NPT to face up to this reality and to ensure that the 10th NPT Review Conference takes effective and concrete action towards a world without nuclear weapons.


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