(CNN) — Japan and the United States have co-signed an agreement to remove and dispose of hundreds of kilograms of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and separated plutonium from the Asian nation.
The fissile material will be transported from the Fast Critical Assembly (FCA) at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) in Japan to a “secure facility” in the United States, according to a statement released by the White House, and “fully converted into less sensitive forms.”
“This pledge complements the significant role that both Japan and the United States are playing in finding new ways to continue improving global nuclear security … Japan has demonstrated its leadership by resolving to remove all special nuclear material from the FCA.
“Our two countries encourage others to consider what they can do to further HEU and plutonium minimization.”
Japan shows “leadership”
“This is the biggest commitment to remove fissile materials in the history of the summit process that President Obama launched,” Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall of the National Security Council told the New York Times. “It is a demonstration of Japan’s shared leadership on nonproliferation.”
Previously in favor of refinement of fuel for use it its own domestic nuclear power grid, the agreement comes at a time when many Japanese nuclear power facilities have been mothballed, following the 2011 reactor meltdown in Fukushima. The accident, which occurred when a powerful tsunami damaged the facility, was the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
Beijing has previously criticized Tokyo’s stockpiling of nuclear material — suggesting that it had the capability to produce nuclear weapons relatively quickly. However, as history’s only victim of atomic warfare, Japan’s post-war constitution forbids the pursuance of nuclear weapons, with public opinion also overwhelmingly against the policy.
Japanese senior nationals security adviser Yosuke Isozaki told the Japan Times that “Japan shares a vision of a world without nuclear weapons.”
Read more at Japan agrees to hand over nuclear material to United States
It is hard to believe Japan’s “leadership” in the abolition of nuclear weaponry, as long as the country promotes nuclear power.