Japan voted against the UN General Assembly resolutions on the TPNW in 2018, 2019, and 2020. In October 2020, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said that the treaty is 'different from our approach' and the government's position not to sign it 'remains unchanged.' The former Japanese prime minister Hatoyama Yukio, former foreign minister Tanaka Makiko, and former defence minister Tanaka Naoki were among the signatories to an open letter in September 2020 calling on current leaders in umbrella states to 'show courage and boldness' and join the TPNW. 1,733 municipalities (out of the national total of 1,741, or 99.5%) are members of Mayors for Peace. The mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have expressed their support for ICAN's Cities Appeal on behalf of the Japanese member cities of Mayors for Peace and have requested the Japanese government to join the TPNW and until then participate in the meetings of states parties as an observer. See: bit.ly/2TwCaOp, bit.ly/37kmiXc, bit.ly/2Kar14P.
- Japan should ensure that nuclear weapons do not have a role in its national defence plans and security policies. It should renounce the retention and potential use of nuclear weapons on its behalf, for instance through a declaratory statement, and refrain from endorsing future alliance statements in support of weapons of mass destruction.
- Japan should urgently sign and ratify the TPNW, and encourage other states to adhere to the Treaty. Until it is in a position to do so, it should welcome the TPNW as a valuable contribution to the global disarmament and non-proliferation architecture, attend its meetings of states parties as an observer, and work with its states parties on practical steps towards disarmament.