Hruby praises deep U.S.-Japanese ties and works to reinforce them

WASHINGTON – Jill Hruby, Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), completed a productive visit to Japan on Thursday where she met with U.S. Ambassador Rahm Emanuel, discussed nuclear security and nuclear nonproliferation cooperation with Japan’s leaders, visited Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Museum, and jointly announced the fulfillment of an important nonproliferation promise.

“Cooperation and collaboration between our countries on nuclear issues is as strong as our alliance,” said Hruby, who is also the U.S. Department of Energy’s Under Secretary for Nuclear Security. “Whether it’s nuclear security, nonproliferation, or studying the atom, when we work together to achieve our goals it makes us all stronger.”

Hruby and Takashi Yanagi, Senior Deputy Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, celebrated the ongoing conversion activities and the removal of 45 kilograms of highly enriched uranium (HEU) from the Kyoto University Critical Assembly (KUCA), fulfilling a promise made at the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit. It was the second joint removal the nations have announced this year and brings Japan closer to becoming HEU-free.

“Completing this removal campaign was a monumental effort that demonstrates the close nuclear security relationship the United States and Japan enjoy,” the Administrator said. “Minimizing the use of HEU in civilian applications allows facilities like KUCA to continue their essential training and research missions without risk that the fuel could be used to produce an improvised nuclear device. I want to thank the team for seeing the job through despite pandemic restrictions.”

The Administrator also toured KUCA with officials from Kyoto University and stressed the need to finalize its conversion to low-enriched uranium fuel.

From there, Hruby traveled to Hiroshima, where she visited the Peace Memorial Museum and placed a wreath at the foot of the Memorial Cenotaph. The monument honors those who died as a result of the atomic bomb dropped on the city.

“As the Administrator of NNSA, I frequently reflect on the duality of my responsibilities,” she said. “As long as nuclear weapons exist, the National Nuclear Security Administration will be a responsible steward of the U.S. nuclear deterrent without nuclear explosive testing for the protection of the American people and our allies. At the same time, we will continue to actively engage in nonproliferation efforts to prevent the further spread of nuclear weapons and promote the safe, secure, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. We invest in both efforts in the hope that nuclear weapons will never be used again and that a world without nuclear weapons will one day exist.”

Hruby also met with Masami Oka, Vice Minister of Defense for International Affairs. She updated him on U.S. activities in nuclear deterrence – including both weapons and arms control – and discussed ways to further strengthen the U.S.-Japanese alliance.

She also had one-on-one meetings with Masanori Koguchi, President of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, to discuss HEU minimization, and with Shin Hosaka, Commissioner of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy within the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry.