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2009年7月 4日 (土)

IAEA新体制 実効ある核拡散防止に動け

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Jul. 4, 2009)
Amano's appointment opportunity for IAEA
IAEA新体制 実効ある核拡散防止に動け(7月4日付・読売社説)

It can be described as an endorsement of Japan's achievements in the fields of the peaceful use of nuclear power and prevention of nuclear proliferation.

Yukiya Amano, ambassador to the Permanent Mission of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna, has been elected to serve as the next director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

For Japan, Amano's appointment means his name can be added to the short list of Japanese that head international organizations, helping to boost Japan's presence in the international community.

We hope Amano will demonstrate leadership as the successor to current IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, who will leave his post in November.


North Korea, Iran scofflaws

The IAEA is an important international body established to promote the peaceful use of nuclear power and prevent nuclear technology being diverted for military purposes. ElBaradei and the organization won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

The IAEA has failed, however, to stop the nuclear development programs of North Korea and Iran.

In response to the revelation in the early 1990s that Iraq had a secret nuclear program, the IAEA adopted an Additional Protocol to enable it to inspect undeclared nuclear facilities at short notice.

But this power proved to be useless in respect of North Korea, which ignored the protocol, declared its withdrawal from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and is overtly developing nuclear arms.

Iran, which has signed the protocol, but has not ratified it, is openly pursuing uranium enrichment in defiance of a sanctions resolution imposed by the U.N. Security Council.

How can effective nonproliferation measures be brought to bear to stop other countries following in the footsteps of North Korea and Iran? This weighty responsibility rests on Amano's shoulders.

Spurred by increasing energy demand and the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions, there is a global trend to increase nuclear power use. Amid this situation, curbing the diffusion of technologies that can be utilized for nuclear weapons development is one key measure to enhance nuclear nonproliferation.


Divisions must be bridged

A number of ideas have been proposed to bolster nuclear nonproliferation. One proposal calls for putting uranium enrichment and nuclear reprocessing facilities under international management, while another suggestion is to guarantee the stable supply of nuclear fuel to a country that shuts its nuclear enrichment or reprocessing facilities.

But these ideas are far from realization due to opposition from developing countries, which say that the adoption of such ideas would lead to the creation of a world of nuclear haves and have-nots. About one-third of the votes cast by the IAEA's Board of Governors were not cast for Amano, in an effective vote of no-confidence against him, and many of those votes apparently were cast by developing countries.

After his election to the top IAEA post, Amano stressed at a press conference that "solidarity of all the member states...is absolutely necessary." The comment is a reflection of his determination to resolve differences among IAEA member countries and to simultaneously pursue the goals of the peaceful use of nuclear energy and nuclear nonproliferation. Amano will be under pressure to translate his words into deeds.

The IAEA also is tasked with dealing with new types of threats, including nuclear terrorism. Amano has his work cut out.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 4, 2009)
(2009年7月4日01時52分  読売新聞)


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