Japan Presses Egypt on the CTBT

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe welcomed Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi for an official visit to Japan from Feb. 29-March 2. According to a joint statement issued Feb. 29, they discussed a range of bilateral and international issues, including nuclear nonproliferation, disarmament and the CTBT. On these issues, the statement says:

“Both leaders determined to cooperate for realization of a peaceful and secure world free of nuclear weapons. Prime Minister Abe expressed the importance of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and President El-Sisi took note. They underlined the crucial importance of urgently achieving the universality of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Both leaders reaffirmed the importance of the three pillars of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons including in particular the need to effectively address regional issues and pursue the full implementation of the final outcome of the 1995 Review and Extension Conference, including in particular the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East, on the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons, and all other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, as well as the final document of 2000 and the Plan of Action adopted at 2010 NPT Review Conference.

In this context, both leaders expressed their regret over the failure to adopt the final document of the 2015 NPT review conference which was an opportunity to make progress in the three pillars of the Treaty and regional issues, in particular the 1995 resolution on the Middle East, and they confirmed their cooperation for success in the 2020 NPT review conference. Both leaders express their intention to continue cooperation on working together on efforts for promoting the universality as well as the principles and goals of the NPT and its full implementation with a view to achieving a world free of nuclear weapons, and they confirmed their commitment to strengthen talks between disarmament and non-proliferation authorities. Both leaders affirmed the importance of the central role of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in non-proliferation and peaceful use of nuclear energy, including the monitoring and verification of steady implementation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the EU3+3 and Iran, and they concurred with continuous cooperation for efforts of IAEA to play its necessary role under the leadership of the incumbent Director General, Yukiya Amano.”

Egypt is among the group of eight remaining CTBT hold-out states that have not yet ratified the CTBT. Japan is currently co-president of the CTBT Article XIV Conference, which has the goal of encouraging states to sign and ratify so as to facilitate entry into force.