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Defusing the bomb or just chit-chat? Cooperation between the European Union and Japan on the NPT

Non-proliferation Paper No. 17

Non-proliferation Paper No. 17

Publisher: SIPRI
17pp.
June, 2012

Since the early 1990s the European Union (EU) and Japan have broadened their agendas to include security issues such as nuclear non-proliferation. Over the past decade they have intensified their bilateral dialogue and set specific goals as well as interacted in regional and multilateral forums. However, EU–Japan cooperation has been mainly communicative or declaratory, with low impact on the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) regime. Nevertheless, compared to the previous decades, cooperation has improved and this has created a platform on which further measures can be built. In order to make their cooperation more concrete and effective, the EU and Japan should set fewer and more feasible goals, focusing on customs cooperation and the nuclear export control regime. They should promote the harmonization of the nuclear export control system of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Plus Three countries and organize joint customs operations with a view to working more closely together during the 2015 NPT Review Conference, including the presentation of joint proposals at that conference.