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Japan upholds non-nuclear principles despite N. Korea threat: Kono

  • September 8, 2017
  • , Kyodo News , 2:07 p.m.
  • English Press

TOKYO — Japan has no plan to review its three non-nuclear principles, Foreign Minister Taro Kono said Friday, rejecting the view of some lawmakers that Tokyo should deploy U.S. nuclear weapons in the country to further deter North Korea.


While relying on the U.S. nuclear umbrella for protection, Japan, which suffered atomic bombings during World War II, has upheld since 1967 the three principles of not possessing, not producing and not allowing the introduction of nuclear weapons into the country.


Kono’s remarks came after former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba said in a TV program on Wednesday, “Is it really right for us to say that we will seek the protection of U.S. nuclear weapons, but we don’t want them inside our country?”


In the program, Ishiba, seen as a potential rival to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for the leadership of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, expressed his opposition to the idea of Japan possessing its own nuclear weapons.


Kono told reporters on Friday, “At this juncture, the deterrent power of the United States is working,” and the Japanese government “has not reviewed the three non-nuclear principles so far and has no plan to discuss a review of them.”


Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of the LDP’s junior coalition partner the Komeito party, also disagreed with Ishiba’s argument, saying at a press conference Thursday that the principles “are a national policy and must not be changed.”

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