New York – Japan submitted an anti-nuclear resolution to a panel at the United Nations on Thursday, but the text made no direct reference to a U.N.-adopted nuclear ban treaty likely to go into effect early next year.
Opting not to mention the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which is expected to cross the needed threshold of ratification soon and take effect 90 days later, apparently reflects Japan’s ties with the United States, its key security ally which opposes the pact and provides security assurances to Japan under its so-called nuclear umbrella.
Tokyo’s stance on the matter appears to have remained unaltered after the first change to the country’s leadership in nearly eight years, with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga replacing former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last month.
As the only country in the world to have suffered atomic bombings, Japan has submitted an anti-nuclear resolution to the United Nations every year since 1994. But versions of the annual resolution submitted since the nuclear ban pact was adopted in 2017 make no mention of it.
So far, 47 countries and regions have completed ratification procedures for the nuclear ban treaty, with a total of 50 ratifications needed for it to take effect.
Japan opposed the nuclear ban pact along with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, which are all nuclear powers.
The nation’s latest resolution preserves phrasing from last year about the devastating humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons, which was worded less strongly than previous versions that until 2018 expressed deep concern on the matter.
Japan’s resolution is likely to pass the U.N. General Assembly’s First Committee on disarmament issues by early November before being adopted at the General Assembly by the end of the year.