NGO Calls for Japan Not to Ratify Russia Nuclear Agreement

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Putin and Aso

Tokyo -- The Citizens' Nuclear Information Center (CNIC), a Tokyo-based NGO, sent an open letter of protest today to senior figures in the Japanese government calling on them not to ratify a bilateral nuclear agreement signed in May 2009, when Taro Aso was prime minister.

The substance of the CNIC's objection is that the agreement does not require that Japanese nuclear material, equipment, and technology exported to Russia be covered by IAEA safeguards.

Philip White, the international liaison officer of the CNIC, notes that, as a result, "there is no way of ensuring that Japanese exports are not used in Russia's nuclear weapons program, or that they are not transferred to potential nuclear proliferators such as Iran."

He continues by observing that the agreement's implementation is also not contingent on Russia refraining from nuclear weapons tests in the future.

Summing up his criticisms of Japan's new nuclear policies, White comments, "In its eagerness to participate in the global nuclear energy market, Japan is undermining its reputation as a leading advocate of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. If it wishes to be taken seriously, its nuclear cooperation agreements must clearly place principles before profit."

When contacted about the CNIC's letter, the relevant section of the Japanese Foreign Ministry declined to comment at this time.

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