U.S. and Japan Agree to Secure Seaport Cargo

Press Release
Jul 3, 2008
Partnership Aimed at Preventing Nuclear Smuggling

WASHINGTON, DC - Japan is implementing new port security measures in cooperation with the United States as part of the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Megaports Initiative.  Both countries announced today that they will cooperate in preventing the illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological material in the global maritime shipping system.

"This agreement will help thwart nuclear smuggling in the international shipping system, and shows that Japan is serious about preventing nuclear terrorism," NNSA Administrator Thomas D'Agostino said.  "We appreciate our partnership with Japan on this crucial effort to secure ports and help keep international shipping safe."

This partnership will be implemented at the Port of Yokohama, Minami Honmoku Pier.  Japan will install radiation detection equipment and associated infrastructure to scan import and export cargo for special nuclear and other radioactive materials.  NNSA will provide technical support to Japan regarding the installation of the equipment, and help train Japanese Government officials to use the equipment purchased.

Japan's ports are major cargo container hubs in East Asia and strategic transit points in the international maritime trading system.  This partnership under the Megaports Initiative represents a major step forward in our joint efforts to prevent nuclear materials from being smuggled and potentially used by terrorists against the United States, Japan, or other countries around the world.

NNSA's Megaports Initiative works around the world with foreign governments to install specialized radiation detection equipment at international seaports.  The program's mission is to enhance a country's capabilities to deter, detect and interdict illicit shipments of nuclear and other radioactive materials.  The initiative is currently operational at ports in twelve countries and is at various stages of implementation in nineteen other locations.

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 U.S. and abroad. 

Media contact(s):
NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371