TOKYO (Kyodo News): Prime Minister Fumio Kis-hida is considering addressing by video a U.N. nuclear nonproliferation meeting in January, giving up on an earlier plan to attend the event in person, government sources said Sunday.
In the video address to the conference starting Jan. 4 to review the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Kishida is expected to express his determination to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons, the sources said.
The sources attributed the Japanese leader’s decision not to travel to New York for an NPT Review Conference to surging cases of the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus in the United States.
It is rare for a national l-eader to address an NPT re-view meeting, even by vid-eo, because leaders usually do not take part in the event. Usually, a foreign minister or a senior vice foreign minister represents Japan at the U.N. conference, held every five years to assess the progress on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation.
Kishida, a House of Representatives member elected from the atomic-bombed city of Hiroshima, attended the last session as foreign minister in 2015.
This time, Kishida plans to send Minoru Terada, his special adviser on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation, to the NPT meeting, tasking him to take a leadership role in adopting a final document that the last session failed to do due to disagreements among participating countries.
The gathering was initially due to take place in 2020 but was postponed in light of the COVID-19.
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