U.S. Nuclear Weapons could be deployed in Japan claims Former Secretary-General Ishiba

Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker 

Modern Tokyo Times

The highly respected former Secretary-General of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and former Defense Minister, Shigeru Ishiba, believes Japan should discuss the merits of stationing nuclear weapons from the United States (U.S.). Of course, Ishiba knows that the historical legacy of America dropping nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki means that many individuals in the corridors of power will question his rationale. However, like Ishiba points out, Japan is already protected by America’s nuclear umbrella. Therefore, it isn’t inconceivable given the current actions of North Korea according to this high ranking official.

Ishiba is adamant that Japan should not develop nuclear weapons based on the historical reality of past history. He also makes it abundantly clear that if Japan did develop nuclear weapons then this would open up the rights of other nations to follow. Hence, Ishiba opposes developing nuclear weapons in line with standard political thinking in the corridors of power in Tokyo.

Despite this, Ishiba believes that the deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons in Japan should be put on the table. He says, “Is it really right for us to say that we will seek the protection of U.S. nuclear weapons, but we don’t want them inside our country?”

In relation to regional heightened tensions based on the actions of North Korea then maybe Ishiba’s logic will hit a chord with some individuals. Yet, the bigger picture is more complex because China and the Russian Federation would oppose such a plan. Indeed, China is especially disillusioned by the deployment of America’s THAAD system to South Korea. Likewise, the Russian Federation opposes THAAD in South Korea because both nations perceive this to be a move by America that is aimed at altering the military balance in northeast Asia. Therefore, political elites in Beijing and Moscow would further distrust the American angle within the body and military politic of Japan.

Ishiba maybe neglecting the geopolitical reality of major powers in northeast Asia – or, he sincerely may believe that the nuclear angle in North Korea is getting out of control – along with the development of powerful weapons of mass destruction by this nation. Either way, it appears unlikely that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will go down this path. However, with Ishiba putting pressure on Abe because of internal problems within the LDP after the disastrous political showing in Tokyo – and recent scandals involving Abe – then clearly Ishiba seeks to be on the front foot.

Ishiba says, “Not possessing, producing and bringing in nuclear weapons, and not even discussing (this matter) — is that really OK?”

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

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