Last night I returned to Japan after participating in the Nuclear Security Summit held in Seoul.
There may be some who are wondering a bit at hearing the unfamiliar words "nuclear security." As the only country ever to have suffered the devastation of atomic bombings, Japan has long stood at the vanguard of efforts towards "nuclear disarmament," in which the number of nuclear weapons is reduced, and "nuclear non-proliferation," through which nuclear weapons and related materials are prevented from spreading around the world. However, at this summit, the heads of state and government discussed how to protect nuclear facilities and the transport of nuclear fuel from attacks by terrorists or other such threats. As such activities also include the viewpoint of security, this is called "nuclear security."
Three years ago, the speech in Prague in which President Barack Obama of the United States called for "a world without nuclear weapons" prompted the international community to become oriented to not only disarmament and non-proliferation but also nuclear security. At this summit, countries verified the concrete efforts that they have pursued thus far and also agreed to make further efforts to respond to these issues through strengthening their cooperation.
Should a single country anywhere worldwide neglect to undertake any of the various nuclear-related efforts, from there, the entire world will come to be exposed to risk. For that reason, close cooperation by all related countries is absolutely essential. In particular, at this summit, President Lee Myung-bak of the Republic of Korea, the Chair of the summit, and many other leaders made reference to the accident at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. I perceived a desire shared by all to take the lessons learned through this accident and carry them forward to bring about a further strengthening of safety at nuclear facilities. In order to meet these expectations, I explained the knowledge and lessons gained through the accident by incorporating concrete examples, and I also clarified for the various leaders both the domestic measures and the concrete initiatives to fortify international cooperation that Japan has taken to strengthen nuclear security.
At each of the two sessions attended by heads of state and government forming the core of the summit, I delivered remarks as one of the lead speakers. Japan has submitted constructive proposals in the field of transport of nuclear and radioactive materials and has contributed to the coordination of like-minded countries. I also believe that I succeeded in conveying to the other leaders in a thorough manner Japan's determination to reinforce nuclear security.
At the summit, I stated Japan's views on the launching of a missile by North Korea under the guise of a "satellite," as recently announced. I asserted that this is against the non-proliferation efforts of the international community and would be a violation of UN Security Council resolutions, and that the international community strongly urges North Korea to exercise restraint and cancel the launch. During the break times at the summit, I had short, informal discussions with such leaders of major nations as President Barack Obama of the United States, President Hu Jintao of China, President Lee Myung-bak of the Republic of Korea, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India, and President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia. Through these discussions I confirmed that we would cooperate regarding the North Korea missile issue.
While I was unable to stay in Seoul at length, I believe that my time there was very meaningful.
Upon returning to Japan, without any chance to catch my breath, I immediately continued my efforts to coordinate the bill on the comprehensive reform of social security and taxation systems. I intend to move forward in preparing to submit this bill to the Diet, based on the many thoroughly conducted discussions that have been undertaken to date.