The Japanese government and the International Atomic Energy Agency signed an agreement on Thursday to work together to keep the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics safe from the threat of terrorism involving nuclear materials.

 

According to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, the agreement includes measures to support IAEA experts’ participation in events relating to the Tokyo games, the exchange of information on nuclear security issues and the loan to Japan of equipment to detect radiation.

 

Foreign Minister Taro Kono and IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano observed the signing in Vienna before holding a meeting at which Kono said they agreed to flesh out cooperation in thwarting nuclear terrorism.

 

“We want to thoroughly cooperate with the IAEA to make sure the Olympics are safe,” Kono said at the outset of the meeting.

 

Kono and Amano, a former senior Japanese diplomat who became IAEA director general in 2009, also agreed on the importance of working together more closely on the issue of North Korea in the hopes of resuming IAEA inspections of the North’s nuclear program.

 

The U.N. nuclear watchdog has not had direct access to North Korean nuclear facilities since its inspectors monitoring them were expelled in April 2009.

 

After the meeting, Kono told reporters that in the event the IAEA is able to re-enter North Korea, Japan would assist with the initial costs of securing the necessary equipment and personnel.

 

“We want to make arrangements so that if it becomes possible for the IAEA to make inspections, it can do so immediately,” he said.

 

Ahead of his meeting with Amano, Kono met Thomas Greminger, secretary general of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, agreeing to maximize pressure on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile development.

 

Kono, who arrived in Austria earlier on Thursday, will travel to Germany to participate in the Munich Security Conference on Friday and Saturday.

 

According to Japanese officials, he will focus on appealing to the international community to tighten the vise on Pyongyang.

 

==Kyodo