Nikkei front-paged remarks made during a security symposium held in Stanford, California, on Monday by Assistant Secretary of Defense Randall Schriver, who said that the issue of the “nuclear umbrella” that the U.S. extends to Japan and South Korea will not be discussed in future meetings between the U.S. and North Korea. Speaking on North Korea’s insistence on creating a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons, the senior DOD official said: “North Korea has used the term ‘denuclearization’ with a broad meaning…. Our defense commitment to our allies will not be shaken at all. Extended deterrence must be enhanced further.”
Yesterday evening’s edition of the same paper took up remarks made at the seminar by former Defense Minister Ishiba, who argued that Tokyo should take on a greater defense burden so as to rectify the asymmetric nature of the U.S.-Japan alliance. He was quoted as saying: “The security obligation of each nation is completely different. Japan should take responsibility for defending the United States in order to bring its obligation closer to that of the U.S.” The Japanese politician also underscored the importance of revising the SOFA by saying: “The U.S. military stationed in Japan must be subject to Japanese laws as much as possible.” The security forum was reportedly cosponsored by Nikkei and the Hoover Institution.