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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 July 14 - 27  > Ex-foreign minister at lawyers' symposium criticizes reliance on nuclear deterrence
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2021 July 14 - 27 [PEACE]

Ex-foreign minister at lawyers' symposium criticizes reliance on nuclear deterrence

July 20, 2021

Former Foreign Minister Tanaka Makiko on July 19 delivered a keynote speech at an online symposium on the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) hosted by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, and stated that Japan must sign and ratify the treaty.

Tanaka looked back on her meeting with former French President Jacques Chirac when Tanaka was director general of the Science and Technology Agency and Chirac was Paris mayor. She said that France at that time was planning to conduct nuclear tests at Mururoa Atoll and she objected to Chirac's argument that nuclear weapons act as a deterrent.

Tanaka in her speech warned that reliance on the nuclear deterrence theory could escalate tensions.

While referring to the efforts made by more than 50 countries that gave birth to the TPNW, Tanaka criticized the Japanese government for claiming that Japan will "act as a bridge" in order to continue turning its back on the treaty.

She said that it is unacceptable for the present Japanese government to remain in power, and called for a change of government in the forthcoming general election by saying, "We should not put up with the present government and will replace it with a new coalition."

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