Nonnuclear states to call on China to join U.S.-Russia arms talks


A draft joint statement for a foreign ministerial meeting in Hiroshima next month involving Japan and other nonnuclear weapons states will call for countries including China to participate in the nuclear arms reduction talks between the U.S. and Russia, a government source said Sunday.

The move is essentially aimed at China as the country is believed to be the only one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states under the global nonproliferation regime to be building up its nuclear warfare capabilities.

The draft, which will call for progress on nuclear disarmament in a multilateral setting, reflects Japan’s preference, given that the meeting of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative will be held symbolically in Hiroshima, according to the source.

Japan is eager to raise its profile ahead of the review conference next year of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty because 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The draft statement at the meeting involving Japan, Australia and 10 other countries without nuclear arsenals will stress the importance of enhancing transparency among the countries that have nuclear weapons, including China, according to the source.

It is also expected to call for each of the countries concerned to strictly control nuclear-related materials and technology in their possession so as not to help North Korea’s nuclear weapons development.

The draft will make clear the readiness of the nonnuclear weapons states involved in the meeting to support the negotiations between Iran and the world’s major powers on Tehran’s nuclear program, according to the source.

The foreign ministerial meeting will be held in Hiroshima on April 11 and 12, with Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, who represents a constituency in the city, serving as chairman.