JOINT PRESS STATEMENT

U.S.- JAPAN COMMISSION ON ARMS CONTROL, DISARMAMENT, NON-PROLIFERATION AND VERIFICATION

Tokyo, 8 March 2000

Today is a historic occasion. The Governments of the United States and Japan have decided to intensify and expand their diplomatic and technical cooperation to achieve goals they both value highly:

- Strengthening the international regime to halt the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction;
- Ending the testing of nuclear weapons for all time by putting into force the Comprehensive Nucleal Test-Ban Treaty;
- Working together to prevcnt an arms race that would inevitably lead to instability and greater tension in the international community.
- Negotiating protocols to strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention to protect all people from the scourge of biological weapons; and
- Combining efforts in the Conference on Disarmament to initiate negotiations on a critical treaty to halt the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons.

To these ends, we are anuouncing here today the formation of a U.S.-Japan Commission on Arms Control, Disarmament, Nonproliferation and Verification. The Commission will meet every six months to review, discuss and implement our joint goals for strengthening the international arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation regime. To further mutual understanding, the Commission will also encourage non-govemmental experts in both countries to undertake enhanced collaboration efforts in pursuit of the Commission's important goals.

As a first step towards closer technical cooperation, the Commission has established a Technology Cooperation Working Group. The use of technology to verify arms control and nonproliferation treaties and agreements is critical. It cuts across national and international security concerns. The activities of the new U.S.-Japan Technology Cooperation Working Group will leverage the joint expertise and funding of the U.S. and Japan to speed progress on important verification issues.

Last week, in Tokyo, this experts group met to discuss initial joint projects. Focussing on measures that enhance the effectiveness of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) verification regime, the Technology Cooperation Working Group developed a concrete plan for proceeding with three projects to improve the effectiveness of the CTBT's International Monitoring System's seismic network. These projects will specifically address:

The experts in the Technology Cooperation Working Group expect to complete detailed work plans by mid-April so that funding sources and work schedules can be developed for joint Project implementation.

The terms of reference of the ncw Commission read as follows:


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