Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi planned to stress the importance of arms control and disarmament in his speech at the United Nations in New York Monday.

Efforts for nuclear nonproliferation, arms control and disarmament are important for international peace, and nuclear tests by India and Pakistan in May posed a great challenge to nuclear nonproliferation, Obuchi planned to say in the speech.

To achieve a nuclear-free world, it is necessary to prevent further proliferation and to secure a strong nuclear nonproliferation system, Obuchi was to say, according to a prepared text of the speech.

Controls on exports of nuclear arms and missile technologies also are important to strengthen nuclear nonproliferation, the text says. It was to be the first speech given overseas by Obuchi since he assumed the prime minister post in July.

Obuchi has shown substantial interest in arms control and disarmament issues. As foreign minister in the Cabinet of his predecessor, Ryutaro Hashimoto, Obuchi signed an international treaty on banning anti-personnel land mines in December and addressed the nuclear tests by India and Pakistan earlier this year.

Arms control and disarmament are not only important in the case of nuclear arms, but also for other types of weapons of mass destruction and technologies such as missiles, Obuchi was to say.

He was to call the launch of a rocket by North Korea late last month a serious issue for Japan’s security and Northeast Asia’s peace and stability, reiterating his call on Pyongyang not to conduct another launch.

Obuchi was to stress the importance of efforts to ban land mines and deal with the issue of small firearms. Japan will continue to play a leading role in dealing with these issues, the prepared text says. He also was to stress the importance of development as a means of ensuring social stability and preventing regional conflicts.

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