THE HAGUE, Netherlands—24 May 2023—The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Fernando Arias, met with Japan’s Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, H.E. Ms Yuumi Yoshikawa, at the OPCW’s Headquarters in The Hague.
The Director-General welcomed the attendance of the Parliamentary Vice Minister of Japan at the Inauguration Ceremony of the OPCW Centre for Chemistry and Technology (ChemTech Centre), which took place on 12 May in the presence of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. The Director-General highlighted that the ChemTech Centre will have a pivotal role in enhancing the Organisation’s capabilities to address chemical security threats worldwide.
“The ChemTech Centre will ensure that the OPCW can keep pace with rapid advances in science and technology, which is a key factor to preventing chemical weapons re-emergence,” the Director-General said. “In addition, the Centre will allow us to offer an increased number of advanced training and capacity building activities for experts from both the Secretariat and Member States of the OPCW to strengthen chemical emergency response capabilities.”
During the high-level visit, the Director-General and the Parliamentary Vice Minister discussed the importance of multilateralism in addressing global security challenges, and the role of the OPCW and the Chemical Weapons Convention in strengthening chemical disarmament and non-proliferation. The two officials also discussed the importance of the Fifth Review Conference for advancing the implementation of the Convention.
“Japan attaches great importance to the OPCW as the only specialised agency for the prohibition of chemical weapons, and highly values its role as the most universal framework for the prohibition of weapons of mass destruction. We will continue to support the efforts of the OPCW,” the Parliamentary Vice Minister said.
“Japan welcomes the opening of the ChemTech Centre, and we are confident that its operation will contribute to the strengthening of the OPCW’s work. Japan will continue to cooperate in discussions on the effective utilisation of the Centre,” she added.
The meeting concluded with the Director-General commending the efforts and cooperation of both Japan and China in relation to the destruction of the abandoned chemical weapons (ACW) by Japan on China’s territory. The Vice Minister emphasised that: “In accordance with its obligations under the Convention, Japan is proceeding with ACW projects in cooperation with China with the aim of disposing of ACW as soon as possible.”
Japan joined the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1995 and is currently a member of the OPCW Executive Council.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW, with its 193 Member States, oversees the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997, it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.
Over 99% of all declared chemical weapon stockpiles have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.
- Japan | OPCW
- Centre for Chemistry and Technology | OPCW
- Review Conference | OPCW
- Executive Council | OPCW