Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone has disclosed Japan’s 11-point initiative for comprehensive nuclear disarmament, giving strong support to U.S. President Barack Obama’s vision of a nuclear-free world. In his April 5 speech in Prague, Mr. Obama said that “as a nuclear power, as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act” to build a world without nuclear weapons.

Japan is the only nation that has suffered nuclear attacks and knows the horror of nuclear devastation. If Japan and the U.S. work together toward the goal of creating a nuclear-free world, it will be a strong message to the world, especially to nations that hold nuclear weapons or are trying to possess such weapons.

In his speech entitled “Conditions Toward Zero — 11 Benchmarks for Global Nuclear Disarmament,” Mr. Nakasone called on the nuclear weapons states to carry out “irreversible nuclear disarmament,” including the dismantling of nuclear warheads, nuclear testing sites and facilities that produce fissile material for nuclear weapons purposes. He also urged those states, especially China, to make sufficient information disclosure about their nuclear arsenals. He also proposed an early start of negotiations on a treaty to prohibit the production of fission materials for nuclear weapons.

While urging North Korea to follow through on the agreements reached at the six-party talks, and Iran to comply with U.N. Security Council resolutions and cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, he called on India, Pakistan and Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty as nonnuclear weapons states.

Noteworthy is Mr. Nakasone’s announcement of a plan for Japan to host an international conference early next year to discuss concrete actions by the international community to push global nuclear disarmament. Mr. Obama disclosed a plan for the U.S. to host a Global Summit on Nuclear Safety within the next year. Japan and the U.S. can strengthen cooperation to make the 2010 NPT Review Conference produce a meaningful conclusion.

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