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Japan welcomes U.S.’s posture toward extended deterrence

During a press conference on March 30, Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu welcomed the outlines of the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), the guidelines for the nuclear weapons strategy released by the U.S., for saying that maintaining extended deterrence (the nuclear umbrella) is a top priority. He said, “Japan strongly supports the U.S.’s posture.”

 

The Japanese government had conveyed behind closed doors to the U.S. concern about the possibility that the administration of President Joe Biden might declare no first use of nuclear weapons–a pledge that the U.S. would never use nuclear weapons unless an enemy uses them. The concern is based on the worsening security environment surrounding Japan arising from North Korea’s firing of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBMs) and China’s development of hard-to-intercept hypersonic weapons, which could undermine the deterrence of the Japan-U.S. alliance.

 

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has proposed that President Biden travel to Japan in late April. The prime minister wants to reconfirm the U.S.’s provision of extended deterrence if he can hold a summit meeting.

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