Asahi carried a prominent inside-page article saying that President Obama’s desire to adopt a “no first use” of nuclear weapons policy will probably not be realized due to strong opposition from the U.S. military and its allies, including Japan and South Korea, which are afraid that a unilateral declaration would weaken extended deterrence. The daily said, however, that some 40 former government officials of key U.S. partners, including former FM Kawaguchi and Australian FM Evans, issued a joint statement on Tuesday urging the Obama administration to adopt a no first use policy. Komeito Chief Representative Yamaguchi and DP President Okada also support the idea.
The daily published an editorial calling for PM Abe to support the idea, highlighting the view that the conventional weapons of the U.S. military are sufficient to deter North Korea and others. The paper added that endorsing no first use would raise Japan’s moral standing in the international community and promote peace and stability in East Asia.