Cablegate: Physical Protection: Mofa Support for Us/Japan


DE RUEHKO #0498/01 0570445
P 260445Z FEB 08

C O N F I D E N T I A L TOKYO 000498




E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/26/2018

Classified By: Ambassador J. Thomas Schieffer. Reason 1.4 (b) (d)

1. (C) Summary. MOFA official Yasuyoshi Komizo, meeting
February 18 with a visiting interagency delegation, conveyed
strong support for continuing U.S.-Japan cooperation on the
physical protection of nuclear materials. He also noted GOJ
willingness to send representatives to the U.S. to
participate in a proposed workshop on radiological emergency
preparedness. Regarding the revision of INFCIRC/225, Komizo
noted that before deciding whether to join the ""core group""
of countries working on that effort, the GOJ would want to
find out whether Japan could have any influence on the
outcome of the revision process. He also said progress
toward a comprehensive bilateral agreement for sharing
sensitive physical protection information would be slow,
given domestic political sensitivies in Japan. End summary.

2. (U) A DOE/NNSA-led interagency delegation met February 18
with Yasuyoshi Komizo, Director of MOFA's International
Nuclear Energy Cooperation Division, on the first day of a
week-long series of meetings with GOJ ministries and
technical organizations regarding the physical protection of
nuclear material. The meetings, which ran through February
22 and included site visits to the Tokai Unit 2 power reactor
and the Tokai Reprocessing Plant, continued U.S.-Japan
technical-level consultations aimed at strengthening Japan's
regulatory and technology infrastructure for the security of
nuclear materials and facilities. Melissa Krupa (NNSA) led
the U.S. side, accompanied by J. Mentz (State), B. Westreich
(NRC), J. Glaser (NNSA), J. Hill (NNSA), and Energy Attache
R. Cherry. MOFA officer Yukari Aosa accompanied Komizo.

3. (SBU) The delegation thanked Komizo for MOFA's support of
the bilateral consultations on physical protection issues.
Komizo noted in response that MOFA strongly supports the
U.S.-Japan dialog and a more active role by Japan in
international efforts to strengthen nuclear security. While
MOFA has no direct role in physical protection matters
domestically, it is willing and able to play an active role
in getting the appropriate Japanese organizations involved
and in coordinating GOJ positions on physical protection.

4. (SBU) Komizo noted Japan's interest during its G8
presidency to promote efforts to strenthen the nuclear
infrastructure in countries interested in developing peaceful
nuclear power programs. A paper drafted by Japan is
presently being coordinated in both the Nonproliferation
Director's Group and the Nuclear Safety and Security Working

5. (C) From his comments on the G8 process, Komizo gave a
brief status update on Japan's negotiations with Russia on an
agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation. In frank
comments, Komizo observed that Russia needed western
technology, which was only available from France or Japan.
Since the French would not agree to share the technology,
Russia had to come to Japan. Komizo pointed out that Russia
had accepted many of Japan's conditions for the negotiations,
including the separation of military and civilian activities
at facilities directly related to its commercial nuclear
program. Russia is also in discussions with the IAEA about
the application of international safeguards at Angarsk (with
Russia to pay the cost of safeguards). Finally, Komizo said
that a Russian decision to move up the schedule for shutting
down its last two plutonium production reactors was in
response to a Japanese demand.

6. (SBU) When asked about the U.S. proposal to hold a
workshop on radiological emergency preparedness, Komizo said
Japan was prepared to send a small (5-6 person) delegation to
participate in the workshop in the U.S. Japan would like the
workshop to take place in April 2008, if possible. Before
accepting an invitation to attend the workshop, Komizo said,
Japan would like to know how the workshop in the U.S. would
differ from one held in China last December. Del promised to
inform NNSA/NA-40 of the Japanese interest in sending a team
to the U.S. in April. Del also noted the workshop in the
U.S. would involve more hands-on experience with emergency
response equipment and techniques than the one held in China.

7. (C) Del inquired about GOJ views on prospects for a
bilateral agreement for the sharing of classified physical
protection information, noting that the absence of a formal
mechanism could hamper more detailed information exchanges
the U.S. and Japan may wish to have in the future. In
response, Komizo was frank in explaining that information
sharing on nuclear security issues was a very sensitive

matter in Japanese domestic politics. Transparency and
openness are very important for Japanese public acceptance of
nuclear power, he said. To enter into an agreement that
provided for the sharing of classified information about the
security of nuclear facilities and material could detract
from the perception of transparency and openness, possibly
undermining public acceptance. If, for example, the
information sharing concerned potential insider threats, that
could be interpreted as suggesting that some segment of the
Japanese population was a problem. A comprehensive
information sharing agreement would likely have to be
submitted for Diet approval. In the event any such issues
arose in the Diet debate, the political fallout could negate
any potential benefit from having the agreement. That said,
Komizo didn't rule out information sharing, but stressed that
the GOJ would want to proceed deliberately, first to identify
specific issues on which Japan would like to share
information, and then to discuss the appropriate means to
share that information. Identification of limited areas of
information sharing might not require Diet approval, Komizo

8. (SBU) When asked for his views on possible roles that
nongovernmental bodies could play in facilitating the sharing
of physical protection best practices, Komizo said, ""You mean
something like WINS."" He went on to say that, while the
Japan Atomic Energy Agency has participated in international
discussions on the concept of WINS (World Institute for
Nuclear Security), governments should proceed with caution in
considering whether to set up a body that would deal with
physical protection -- which is universally viewed as being
the responsibility of sovereign governments. Komizo said the
analogy between WINS and WANO (World Association of Nuclear
Operators), which promotes best practices for safety, is not
entirely accurate. For example, he noted, safety cooperation
with India and Pakistan continued following the 1998 nuclear
tests. ""Physical protection is different,"" he said.

9. (SBU) Del asked about Japanese interest in sharing
information on non-lethal use of force, a topic introduced in
the last high level consultations on physical protection, in
July 2007. Komizo confirmed the Japanese National Policy
Agency is interested in having discussions and would welcome
a concrete proposal from the U.S.

10. (C) Komizo was noncommittal regarding the timing of the
next round of high level consultations. He pointed out that,
if the aim was to engage the broadest range of Japanese
organizations, then it would be more effective to have the
meetings in Japan. In another frank comment, he went on to
say that both he and Ambassador Nakane, the Japanese
principal in the high level discussions, have been in their
current positions for several years and would likely rotate
to new positions following the G8 Summit this July. Komizo
suggested scheduling the next high level meeting early after
the new team is installed, so they can more quickly become
acquainted with the U.S. and Japanese efforts.

11. (SBU) Finally, Del informed Komizo that the U.S. was
interested in Japan joining the ""core group"" of countries
(U.S., UK, France, Australia, Canada) that has been meeting
to discuss possible revisions to the international physical
protection guidelines in INFCIRC/225/Rev. 4. Komizo replied
that he was aware of longstanding interest in certain
(unspecified) countries in updating the guidelines, but he
declined to say whether Japan would join. Rather, he noted
that METI and MEXT -- the two ministries with primary
responsibility for nuclear security in Japan -- would first
want to understand the status of the core group discussions.
The GOJ would then be able to determine the likelihood of
influencing the revision process and making substantive
contributions to it.

12. Del cleared this cable prior to departure.

© Scoop Media

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