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Japan Reaffirms Anti-Nukes Policy PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Friday, 12 March 2010 01:22

Japan Reaffirms Anti-Nukes Policy

Thursday, March 11, 2010 , Global Security Newswire

Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada reaffirmed yesterday that the island nation has no intention of amending its antinuclear stance, the Asahi Shimbun reported (see GSN, March 10).

There is no chance that the new left-of-center government in Tokyo would reconsider the principles which ban the production, presence and possession of nuclear weapons in Japan, Okada told lawmakers.

Okada on Tuesday officially confirmed a long suspected state secret -- that Japan for decades had an agreement with the United States to allow nuclear-armed U.S. ships and submarines to enter waters claimed by the island nation and stop at Japanese ports.

The minister said it was not necessary to ask the U.S. government if vessels stopping in Japan are loaded nuclear warheads "because we can determine from the appearance (of the ship whether it can carry nuclear weapons)."

Lawmaker Itsunori Onodera disagreed, arguing that Washington's decision in the 1990s to withdraw tactical warheads from naval vessels did not extend to strategic weapons and that there remains the potential of U.S. nuclear-armed airplanes and submarines docking or traveling through Japanese territory.

"We would be able to identify by the model of ship or aircraft whether it is carrying strategic nuclear weapons," Okada responded. He has said this week that there is a minimal chance that Japan would play host to U.S. nuclear weapons, acknowledging that it might have done so under the agreement in the past (Asahi Shimbun, March 11).

NOTE: Usually the US has a neither confirm nor deny policy related to nuclear weapons on submarines (Russow)


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