The U.S.-Japan Nuclear Security Working Group (NSWG) convened for its 11th meeting in early November in Tokyo. The group continued its efforts, begun in 2011, to strengthen global nuclear security and enhance international cooperation in peaceful nuclear activities. The meeting was originally scheduled for 2020 but was postponed because of restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Issues: Delegates at the meeting addressed a number of issues, including goals and next steps for bilateral cooperation in nuclear security, research and development, nuclear safeguards, nuclear transportation, special nuclear materials, plutonium management, and nuclear smuggling. Three new areas of cooperation were proposed and mapped out: radiological security, interdiction, and the global nuclear security legal framework.
Delegations: The meeting was chaired by Corey Hinderstein, deputy administrator for defense nuclear nonproliferation at the National Nuclear Security Administration, and Shigeki Ito, deputy director general of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Disarmament, Nonproliferation, and Science Department.
The U.S. delegation included representatives from the NNSA, National Security Council, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Department of State, Department of Defense, and Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The Japanese delegation included representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology; Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry; Nuclear Regulatory Agency; National Police Agency; and Japan Atomic Energy Association.
Next meeting: Ito noted, “This meeting was very meaningful, as we were able to discuss new goals. We would like to continue our efforts to strengthen nuclear security in both Japan and the U.S.” The 12th NSWG meeting is scheduled for late 2023 in the United States.