Kishida Leaves for New York for NPT Conference

Politics

Tokyo, July 31 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida left for New York on Sunday to attend a review conference of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty as he is seeking to play a leading role in nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation.

Kishida, a politician elected from Hiroshima, one of Japan's two cities devastated by U.S. atomic bombs in August 1945 in the closing days of World War II, plans to call for achieving a world free from nuclear weapons at the NPT conference.

Speaking to reporters before his departure, Kishida said, "I feel alarmed about a significant decline in international momentum toward a nuclear-free world." The NPT conference should provide an opportunity to reverse momentum, he said.

He will be the first Japanese prime minister to attend an NPT conference. He aims to serve as a bridge between nuclear and nonnuclear states to ensure the conference produces an agreement.

In a speech to be delivered at the U.N. headquarters, Kishida will urge nuclear states to improve the transparency of their nuclear arsenals. He aims to build momentum for nuclear disarmament as Japan, the world's only atomic-bombed country, is preparing to host a Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima in May next year.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press