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Japan seeks stricter export controls for nuclear nonproliferation


Japan urged other Asian economies on Monday to strengthen their export controls to prevent countries such as North Korea and Iran from acquiring nuclear-related materials.

"It is becoming more important for Asian countries to strengthen export control systems amid growing risks that countries with insufficient export controls may be used by North Korea and Iran as a 'loophole' to procure nuclear-related materials," Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said in a speech in Nagasaki, southwestern Japan. A text of the speech was released by the Foreign Ministry.

Kishida announced that Japan will extend $455,000 to the preparatory commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty to support its activities, as well as to upgrade the system for detecting nuclear tests.

Referring to Japan's chairmanship of the commission this year, Kishida said Japan will "proactively contribute to promoting the effectuation of the CTBT and developing the verification system."

In his speech, Kishida pointed to the danger that nuclear-power aspirants may take advantage of countries with lax export control systems to import materials and technology that can be diverted to nuclear weapon and missile development.

To achieve a world with no nuclear weapons, Kishida said countries must pursue both nuclear disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation, calling them "a pair of wheels."

"If the world promotes nuclear disarmament, it makes no sense to allow the emergence of countries possessing nuclear weapons," he said.