Japan will not attend meeting of nuclear weapons ban treaty

The Japanese government says it will not attend the first meeting of state parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as an observer.

The Foreign Ministry's press secretary, Ono Hikariko, announced the decision on Wednesday. The meeting will start next Tuesday in Vienna, Austria.

Japan has not ratified the treaty. But atomic bomb survivors and others have been calling on the government to attend the event as an observer, as Japan is the only country to have suffered atomic bombings.

Speaking to reporters, Ono said that in order to change the reality, cooperation of nuclear weapon states is necessary, but none of them have taken part in the treaty. She said Japan will work to promote practical efforts.

Ono said Tokyo hopes to continue to take effective measures for nuclear disarmament and move closer to a world without nuclear weapons.

Ono said Japan plans to make utmost efforts for the review conference for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to be held in August so that it will achieve significant results. Nuclear weapon states will also participate in the conference.