|Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and
Ichita Yamamoto, Japanese State Secretary for Foreign Affairs
October 15, 1999, Washington, D.C.
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I am very pleased to welcome my friend and former student Ichita Yamamoto, the Japanese State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, to the Department of State.
He arrives with a message of deep concern about the Senate's vote earlier this week not to approve American ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. As we have seen and read, similar concerns are being expressed not simply by many, but virtually all, of America's friends and allies around the world.
Japan is one of our closest allies, and one of the staunchest supporters of the CTBT. It was among the first nations to ratify the agreement and recently chaired the Vienna conference on facilitating the Treaty's entry into force. Therefore, we take Japan's views and concerns about the CTBT and the Senate vote very seriously, indeed.
As President Clinton has made clear, America remains committed to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons. We will continue to observe a moratorium on nuclear explosive tests and urge all others to do so. And we will continue to fight, and fight hard, on behalf of America's participation in the Treaty.
Winston Churchill has been quoted as saying that, "Americans can always be counted upon to do the right thing, after all other possibilities have been exhausted."
There is no doubt in my mind that America will ultimately do the right thing and ratify the CTBT. In the meantime, I want to assure Japan, others around the world, and our own citizens that the Administration will continue to work with nations everywhere to reduce the dangers posed by nuclear weapons, and to halt their spread.
MR. YAMAMOTO: When I was at Georgetown in 1982, and even when I was taking her course, I never dreamed that I could see Professor Albright in this kind of occasion. So I am so happy.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Neither did Professor Albright.
MR. YAMAMOTO: Yes, Professor Albright received me despite her extremely busy schedule. I came here to bring a message from Minister Kono, the message from the government of Japan to the Secretary of State, that the Japanese Government is very much concerned about the fact that the US Senate rejected to ratify the CTBT.
We just ask her, Professor Albright, that the United States will continue its long-standing and utmost effort so that Congress can support the CTBT and we can finally realize this historic, important mechanism in the history of arms control. She said United States would continue its utmost efforts, so I will bring her message back to Minister Kono.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you.
MR. YAMAMOTO: Thank you very much.
QUESTION: How can the United States really get it ratified? We don't see any possibility. How, and by when, can the United States get it ratified?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, as I said and, more importantly, the President said yesterday, the United States will eventually ratify, and we're going to work to make that happen. In the meantime, as I have said and the President has said, we will abide by the Treaty. That is what we have to do.
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, on Pakistan, are you encouraged or discouraged by the report from Ambassador Milam this morning?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: We're waiting, basically, to assess a lot of what he has said. I think that, as I have said earlier, we very much regret what has happened. We are concerned, and I need to still assess some of the things that he said.
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