YWCA of Japan
YWCA of JAPAN TOP > May 2 , 2012

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Press Release: 28 Japanese NGOs call for End to Reprocessing Plans to Prevent Nuclear Weapons Proliferation   (May 2, 2012)

On April 30, 2012, YWCA of Japan together with 28 Japanese NGO representatives and academics released the "No More Plutonium Production: Japanese NGO Joint Statement; Stop Plans for Reprocessing ? Prevent Nuclear Weapons Proliferation." The full text and list of co-signatories can be seen below, and downloaded here:

As the Japanese Government is currently undergoing discussion regarding nuclear fuel cycle policy, this statement points out the that plutonium created through the reprocessing of spent fuel is also usable for nuclear weapons purposes, and that as well as its existing stock of approximately 45 tonnes of separated plutonium, Japan is moving to produce enough plutonium for a maximum of 1000 atomic bombs annually if operations at the Rokkasho Village Reprocessing Plant in Aomori Prefecture were to commence. The statement highlights that plans for use of this plutonium are not in place, and that this goes against the fundamental policy of the Japanese Government.

The statement also shows if reprocessing at Rokkasho goes ahead, Japan would become the only non-nuclear weapon state fully producing plutonium, which could have an adverse affect on the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Many other countries including South Korea are likely to express their right to obtain the same technology as Japan, and warnings are being made that Japan pursuing reprocessing plans would "cause confusion to global efforts to strengthen the nonproliferation regime," including measures relating to Iran.

This statement was released on April 30, coinciding with the commencement of the First Preparatory Committee Meeting for the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in Vienna. It calls on Japan, as a country having experienced the atomic bombings and calling for nuclear weapons abolition, to "immediately cease any policies which would reverse international efforts to this end," and thus for the Japanese Government to "cease its plans for reprocessing of spent fuel, and to formulate plans for measures to deal with spent fuel."

This statement will be delivered to relevant Japanese Government agencies including the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Environment and Industry, and the Atomic Energy Commission. It will also be distributed to State and NGO representatives present at the First Preparatory Committee Meeting for the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), taking place in Vienna from April 30.

Endorsement is also welcome from individuals or groups both in Japan and overseas. Expressions of endorsement should be sent by email with name, affiliation and country to [ nuclear.abolition.japan(a)gmail.com ] by Friday May 11, 2011.