• twitter
  • Facebook

Overview and History

After the Cold War, the momentum of the international community to strengthen the efforts for disarmament and non-proliferation has increased more than ever before. For one reason, it is because the collapse of the Cold War structure, which resulted in a bipolar confrontation between East and West, brought a new international trend to pursue disarmament and non-proliferation. On the other hand, the end of the Cold War intensified the destabilizing factors against the world peace such as ethnic confrontation, making it more pressing to promote disarmament and non-proliferation as one of the settlement measures for them.

Facing with such a situation, Japan should take a new response. To be more precise, Japan has to lead the international discussions and contribute to consensus-building of the international society by using its ingenuity. Moreover, Japan has to address itself the efforts to make various disarmament and non-proliferation mechanisms work more effectively. To that end, it is required to collect various information, knowledge and technological skills spread across public and private sectors and to put them into practical use.

Against this background in July 1995, Foreign Minister Yohei Kono (at that time) advocated that Japan should have established a national framework and place more emphasis on the activities on disarmament and non-proliferation. As part of such efforts, the Center for Disarmament, Science and Technology (CDAST) was founded in the Japan Institute of International Affairs in July 1996.

The research and survey on the issues of handling abandoned chemical weapons in China was counted as one of the main activities of CDAST since its foundation. Yet as the full-scale disposal operation is being started from 2004, CDAST put an end to its research and survey.

From the year 2004, CDAST put its emphasis on the activities related to the National Operating System for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). In other words, CDAST takes great responsibilities for Japan to fulfill its obligations on CTBT. CDAST exerts its efforts to support Japan's active diplomacy through various activities as follows:

1. Disarmament and non-proliferation implementation

(1) Secretariat of the National Operating System for the Comprehensive Nuclear

Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)

CDAST assumes the role of the secretariat of the National Operating System for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). As a secretariat, in order to fulfill the obligations of Japan on CTBT, CDAST supervises the construction and operation of ten monitoring stations in Japan. These monitoring stations are linked to a network of 337 monitoring facilities, which composes the International Monitoring System (IMS), part of the CTBT verification regime. In addition to this, Japan independently created two national data centers (NDC-1 and NDC-2) to analyze the data transmitted from ten monitoring stations and detect a nuclear test, which is the noncompliance of CTBT. CDAST makes efforts to enhance the NDCs' capabilities and monitors their performance by conducting simulation tests on their infrastructure. Furthermore, CDAST supports human resource development for NDCs and addresses the other activities such as those related to on-site inspection, a component of the CTBT verification regime, that shall be required in the future CTBT National Operation System .

(2) Other disarmament and non-proliferation implementation activities

CDAST acts as the Japan's secretariat of the Japan-US Track II Commission's Meetings on Arms Control, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Verification, as well as of the Strengthening the Global Partnership projects led by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in the United States.

2. Research and studies on disarmament and nonproliferation issues

CDAST conducts research and studies in cooperation with many Japanese experts from a wide variety of fields upon recent and fundamental issues related to disarmament and non-proliferation and proposes possible solutions for these issues to the government. Additionally, at every opportunity the Director and the research fellows of CDAST attend international meetings and symposia on disarmament and non-proliferation and share the findings with specialists from other countries.

3. Outreach activities

Enhancing the understanding of the people on disarmament and non-proliferation is also one of the CDAST's objectives. In order to achieve this objective, CDAST gathers intelligence of disarmament and non-proliferation from all over the world and spreads them by means of sending e-mail, maintaining the homepage, publishing various pamphlets and so forth.

4. Coordination of training programs

From the year 2003, CDAST offers a seminar every year for those who wish to engage in disarmament and non-proliferation practices. CDAST also plans and conducts the Japan agenda of the annual Disarmament Fellowship Program sponsored by the United Nations.

5. Coordination of exchange programs

For the purpose of promoting the intellectual exchanges in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation, CDAST invites experts both from Japan and abroad to organize lectures and conferences. Furthermore, CDAST calls experts and holds Track II meetings in cooperation with counterparts in other countries. The achievements of such meetings are to be posted on the web site so that they could be turned to good account.

Thus, CDAST plays an important role in the disarmament and non-proliferation diplomacy of Japan, which calls for "Action based disarmament diplomacy" and makes concrete moves for promotion of disarmament and non-proliferation of the world.