Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, bottom, addresses the 78th session...

Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, bottom, addresses the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023, at U.N. headquarters. Credit: AP/Frank Franklin II

UNITED NATIONS — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida vowed Tuesday night to lead the effort to put the struggling global nuclear disarmament effort back on track, proposing to encourage nuclear weapons states to engage in discussions with non-nuclear weapons states.

Kishida proposed reactivating discussion of the 1993 Fissile Materials Cutoff Treaty, or FMCT, which has never entered negotiations at the United Nations, but its significance remains unchanged.

Earlier Tuesday, he co-hosted FMCT high-level talks with non-nuclear weapons defense partners Australia and the Philippines, in hopes of gaining broad support from the so-called Global South nations for the cause.

Japan will contribute 3 billion yen ($20 million) fund to establish Japan Chairs toward achieving a world without nuclear weapons at overseas research institutions and think tanks. The aim, Kishida said: to energize the debate that would overcome a polarized choices between deterrence and disarmament.

As a lawmaker representing Hiroshima, the world’s first victim of nuclear attacks, nuclear disarmament is his “life work,” Kishida said. “Japan, as non-permanent member, will cooperate with the U.N. and other involved nations to promote discussion between nuclear and non-nuclear states," he said.

Kishida also condemened Russia’s violation of the rule of law and called for further effort to stop human rights violations and nuclear threats.

He said use of the U.N. Security Council veto power is “worsening divisions and contentions” of the organization as part of a broader reform of the United Nations. “We need a U.N. Security Council that reflects today’s world.”

Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida addresses the 78th session of...

Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida addresses the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023, at U.N. headquarters. Credit: AP/Frank Franklin II

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