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Kishida disappointed by NPT confab’s failure to reach consensus

The Sunday editions of all national dailies reported extensively on the conclusion on Friday of the NPT Review Conference after four weeks of discussions without issuing an outcome document due to Russia’s last-minute opposition to the draft on account of a reference to its invasion of Ukraine. Noting that this is the second time for the nuclear disarmament conference to fail to issue an outcome report following the previous session in 2015, the papers wrote that the lack of agreement marked another setback for the body amid growing international concern about Russia’s threat of the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine. The dailies said the failure to reach an agreement undermined the international community’s trust in the framework, which has worked for more than five decades toward the goals of nuclear disarmament, nuclear nonproliferation, and peaceful use of nuclear power.

 

Prime Minister Kishida told reporters on Saturday that it was extremely regrettable that no consensus was reached due to opposition by Russia alone. However, Kishida welcomed the efforts made during the conference by reportedly saying many countries shared the view that maintaining and strengthening the NPT regime is beneficial for the international community, adding that doing so is the only realistic approach to achieving a world without nuclear weapons.

 

Asahi wrote that the conference’s failure to reach a consensus dealt a blow to Kishida because he had hoped the conference would jumpstart global discussions on nuclear disarmament ahead of the Group of Eminent Persons for Substantive Advancement of Nuclear Disarmament conference slated to be held in Hiroshima in November and the G7 summit next May.

 

Yomiuri wrote that China asserted at the meeting that the United States and Russia, which possess about 90% of all nuclear arms in the world, should drastically reduce their nuclear arsenals first. According to the paper, Beijing criticized Australia’s planned procurement of nuclear-powered submarines through the AUKUS framework by saying they raise the threat of nuclear proliferation. China also criticized NATO’s concept of nuclear sharing and Japan’s plan to discharge treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the ocean, insisting that concerns about these issues should have been included in the final agreement of the conference.

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