Japan gives US$ 2.43 Million to boost nuclear test detection

Vienna, 23 February 2017

The Government of Japan has made a voluntary contribution of US$ 2.43 million to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), to further boost its verification abilities to detect nuclear explosions anywhere on the planet. At ceremony in Vienna, Austria on 23 February 2017, CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo thanked the Permanent Representative of Japan, Ambassador Mitsuru Kitano, for his country’s largest ever voluntary contribution to the CTBTO. “This generous contribution will further build-up the International Monitoring System’s capacity to improve our radionuclide monitoring technology, which can conclusively establish whether a nuclear test explosion has occurred,” Zerbo said. “The verification regime of the CTBTO proved its effectiveness and great service to the international community when it detected the successive nuclear test by North Korea in January and September last year,” Ambassador Mitsuru Kitano said.  “In fact the verification regime has been able to detect all five nuclear tests by North Korea so far,” he said.

Ambassador Mitsuru Kitano (left) and Executive Secretary Zerbo (right) exchange letters.

Executive Secretary Zerbo, PrepCom Chair Ambassador Paulina Maria Franceschi Navarro and Ambassador Mitsuru Kitano.

The International Monitoring System is of great service to the international community… Our support is to further enhance the [CTBTO’s] capabilities to detect any potential nuclear tests in the future.

Japan is one of the few experts on hydroacoustic station development and some of the funds will be also dedicated to improve the organization’s ability to master this technology.

Hydroacoustic monitoring is a component of the CTBTO verification system.

A voluntary contribution of this size must be recognized as a strong signal of Japan’s commitment to ‘finish what we started’ – getting the Treaty into force and finalizing the International Monitoring System.

Specifically the funding will be used to:
  • Procure and deploy a mobile noble gas detection system;
  • Conduct measurement of background level of radio-xenon;
  • Contribute to software development through testing and integration.
      In the absence of the CTBT’s entry into force – and the ability to conduct on-site inspections – indeed a mobile noble gas detection system brings added value.

      Japan’s long-time commitment to end nuclear testing

      Japan signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) the day it opened for signature on 24 September 1996, and ratified it less than a year later, on 8 July 1997. Japan was the fourth State to ratify the CTBT and the first of the nuclear-capable Annex 2 States to do so. As part of the CTBTO’s International Monitoring System to ensure no nuclear test goes undetected, Japan hosts six seismic, one infrasound and two radionuclide stations, as well as a radionuclide laboratory. In addition to Japan’s substantial voluntary contributions over the years, the country is also the second largest contributor to the CTBTO’s regular budget, after the United States. In early 2014, Japan made a voluntary contribution of USD $455,000 towards the enhancement of the verification system and to support activities of the Group of Eminent Persons (GEM). Weeks earlier Japan also made a voluntary contribution of USD $737,000 for the acquisition of high-performance computing hardware, enabling the CTBTO to track airborne radioactivity more accurately. Spearheading international efforts in support of the Treaty’s entry into force, Japan, along with Kazakhstan, are the Co-Coordinators of the Article XIV process for the biennium 2015-2017.