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Abe’s alleged opposition to “no first use” policy causes stir

0818jw2Several TBS news programs took up the Washington Post’s recent claim that Prime Minister Abe personally conveyed to PACOM Commander Harris in July Tokyo’s misgivings about President Obama’s desire to declare a no first use of nuclear weapons policy, explaining that the concern was raised only two months after the premier openly embraced the President’s speech in Hiroshima in late May calling for renewed efforts to pursue a world without nuclear weapons. The network highlighted a comment by Brookings Institution analyst Michael O’Hanlon, who noted that none of the Japanese officials he has met since the presidential trip to Hiroshima have mentioned the need to eliminate nuclear weapons on account of nuclear capabilities possessed by North Korea and China. Hibakusha are reportedly displeased with the Japanese government’s apparent inconsistency. A program anchor said Abe or other senior officials should explain to the public the GOJ’s position on no first use.    


NTV aired a similar story, saying that some GOJ officials are supportive of the idea of “no first use,” with one of them saying: “President Obama is morally correct in pursuing a no first use policy. A U.S. declaration would perhaps prompt other nuclear powers to become hesitant to use nuclear weapons. As a result, the level of nuclear deterrence would be raised.” A commentator said Japan should lead global discussions on “no first use” while taking into account the ideal of nuclear disarmament and the reality of nuclear proliferation in Asia.


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