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Foreign Minister sticks to nuclear deterrence policy while supposedly supporting 'a world without nuclear weapons'

Foreign Minister Nakasone Hirofumi stated it is crucial for Japan to keep the nuclear deterrent under the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, while expressing support to U.S. President Barack Obama's determination to "seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons."

He made the remark on April 27 in Tokyo during his speech titled "Conditions for zero ?'11 guidelines' for worldwide nuclear disarmament." It was made with the aim of showing Japan's position in response to the U.S. nuclear disarmament policy toward the NPT Review Conference to be held in May next year.

Nakasone expressed his hope that the U.S. and Russia will swiftly conclude negotiations for the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty I (START-I) as well as reduce their nuclear warheads. He requested that other official nuclear weapons states ? China, the U.K., and France ? reduce their nuclear weapons. Calling on all nuclear weapon nations to release information regarding their nuclear stockpiles, he demanded that the U.S. ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) for the treaty to go into effect.

While appreciating the efforts made by the U.S., Russia, the U.K., and France, the four nations possessing most of the nuclear weapons in the world, Nakasone criticized China for failing to promote a reduction of its nuclear weapons.

The foreign minister announced that the Japanese government will host an international conference for nuclear disarmament early next year.

- Akahata, April 28, 2009

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