Japan was admitted to UN membership on 18 December 1956, and it holds membership in ESCAP and all the nonregional specialized agencies. It is a member of the WTO and signatory to the Law of the Sea, participates in the Colombo Plan, and has permanent observer status with the OAS. In 1963, Japan became a member of IMF and the OECD. It is also a charter member of the Asian Development Bank, which came into operation in 1966; Japan furnished $200 million, a share equal to that of the US. Japan has been actively developing peaceful uses for nuclear energy, and in 1970 it signed the Geneva Protocol, which prohibits the use of poisonous and bacteriological weapons. In June 1976, Japan—the only nation to have suffered a nuclear attack—became the 96th signatory to the international Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
Japan has been extending technical and financial aid to many countries, and in 1974 it established the Japan International Cooperation Agency to provide technical assistance to developing nations. Japan also was instrumental in establishing the Asian Productivity Organization, the objective of which is to organize national productivity movements in various Asian countries into a more effective movement on a regional scale. Japan has entered into cultural agreements with many European and Asian nations and maintains an educational exchange program with the US. Through the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers, Japan sends youths to work in developing countries.