WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on nuclear safeguards and other nonproliferation topics with Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). The Memorandum, signed by NNSA’s Deputy Undersecretary for Counterterrorism Steven Aoki and MEXT’s Deputy Minister Yasutaka Moriguchi, is a significant step in implementing the commitment by President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama in November 2009 to expand nuclear nonproliferation, safeguards, and security cooperation.
“NNSA and MEXT are dedicated to building on more than three decades of cooperation between the United States and Japan in nuclear nonproliferation, safeguards and security,” said Deputy Undersecretary Aoki. “This Memorandum provides us with a new foundation for working together to train the next generation of nuclear safeguards experts and to coordinate our support for the International Atomic Energy Agency. We thank Deputy Minister Moriguchi and his colleagues at MEXT for their hard work and productive dialogue on this Memorandum and look forward to establishing additional mechanisms with Japan for research and development on these topics soon.”
The Memorandum covers four basic topics: collaboration to establish nuclear safeguards and security infrastructure in third countries, coordination of Support Programs to the International Atomic Energy Agency, training for safeguards inspectors, and development of technological approaches for physical protection of nuclear facilities. The Memorandum will provide a framework for cooperation pending conclusion of a legally binding agreement that will permit joint research and development on a broad range of nuclear safeguards and security topics.
In October, 2009, NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino and MEXT Deputy Minister Moriguchi agreed to expand cooperation on a broad range of nuclear nonproliferation issues during the Second International Meeting on Next Generation Safeguards, in Tokai-mura, Japan. After signing the Memorandum of Cooperation, NNSA and MEXT representatives agreed to continue working this year to establish the additional agreement for technical research and development.
Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the United States and abroad.
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