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"I salute the Arms Control Association … for its keen vision of the goals ahead and for its many efforts to identify and to promote practical measures that are so vitally needed to achieve them."

– Amb. Nobuyasu Abe
Former UN Undersecretary General for Disarmament Affairs
January 28, 2004
Joint Statement by India and Japan Highlights Differences on CTBT

Arms Control NOW


India and Japan released a joint statement May 29 on "strengthening the strategic and global partnership" between the two countries. However, the two states differed significantly in their statements regarding the CTBT. Prime Minister Abe of Japan "stressed the importance of bringing into force the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) at an early date."

However, Prime Minister Singh of India simply reiterated New Delhi's "commitment to its unilateral and voluntary moratorium on nuclear explosive testing," a statement which notably fails to mention the CTBT, the only legally-binding international instrument that prohibits nuclear testing.

Japan was one of the first nations to sign the CTBT and the country ratified the treaty in July 1997. India has yet to sign or ratify the treaty, having conducted a series of nuclear weapons tests in 1998 after the CTBT opened for signature. Yet, New Delhi continues to abide by the self-imposed nuclear testing moratorium announced shortly after its 1998 nuclear tests and has shown little interest in returning to nuclear testing.

India is one of the eight remaining Annex 2 states whose ratification is necessary for the CTBT to enter into force. Although New Delhi has shown little interest in pursuing unilateral ratification of the CTBT, the country has taken the position that it "will not stand in the way of entry into force of the treaty," meaning that India would like take action on the treaty if the United States and other states in the region ratify the CTBT first.