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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 April 7 - 13  > Japan opposes possible US policy of 'no-first use of nuclear weapons'
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2021 April 7 - 13 [POLITICS]

Japan opposes possible US policy of 'no-first use of nuclear weapons'

April 7, 2021
Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu told reporters on April 6 that dependence on the U.S. policy of "no-first use of nuclear weapons" cannot sufficiently ensure Japan's security.

The statement came in response to the Tokyo Shimbun report dated the same day covering the testimony given by a former official of the U.S. Department of State in which the former official said that the U.S. Obama administration in 2016 considered declaring no-first use of nuclear weapons but "abandoned it due to opposition from Japan".

Kato at the press conference said, "Dependence on the idea of no-first use of nuclear weapons would cause difficulties in fully ensuring Japan's security," hinting that Japan would not object to the use of nuclear weapons in a first strike by the United States under certain circumstances.

With China and North Korea in mind, Kato added, "As long as a nuclear threat exists in reality, the U.S. extended deterrence which includes a nuclear deterrent force will be vital under the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty," suggesting that Japan will continue depending on the U.S. nuclear umbrella.

After the inauguration of the U.S. Biden administration, more and more people in the United States began calling for a declaration of no-first use of nuclear weapons. In contrast, Japan's Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide is expected to confirm Japan's reliance on the U.S. nuclear deterrence during a Japan-U.S. summit meeting scheduled for April 16.

Past related articles:
> Japanese gov’t must play responsible role as A-bombed nation in global efforts for a world without nuclear weapons [August 22, 2016]
> PM Abe is totally obsessed with nuclear deterrence [August 18, 2016]
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