MOFA establishes panel of experts on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation

by Noritaka Araki, Staff Writer

On July 2, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Japan established the "Advisory Panel of Experts on Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation," comprised of five experts to study foreign policy with regard to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. MOFA plans to hold the first meeting of the Advisory Panel in the ministry on July 6. Based on consultations with Minister for Foreign Affairs Katsuya Okada, the panel will discuss challenges for the A-bombed Japan to take up, including a measure to reduce the role of nuclear weapons, and issue recommendations.

Mitsuru Kurosawa, chairperson of the Japan Association of Disarmament Studies and professor at Osaka Jogakuin College, will serve as chair of the Advisory Panel, which is expected to meet twice a month. The panel will also discuss plans for the foreign ministers' conference on nuclear disarmament that MOFA is preparing to hold in September in the United States in conjunction with the U.N. General Assembly.

At a regular news conference on July 2, Foreign Minister Okada touched on Japan's relationship with India, with which Japan is pursuing a nuclear energy deal, and said, "How to impose sanctions on non-signatories to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) is one of the items on the panel's agenda. I hope substantive discussion will be made by this body."

The other members of the panel are:
Nobumasa Akiyama, associate professor at Hitotsubashi University
Hiromichi Umebayashi, special advisor to the non-governmental organization Peace Depot
Heigo Sato, professor at Takushoku University
Fumihiko Yoshida, editorial writer of the Asahi Shimbun

(Originally published on July 3, 2010)