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Leaders of U.S., Japan to reaffirm “nuclear deterrence” at summit

Nikkei carried an extensive report saying that during their summit slated for May 23, President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida will confirm the policy of defending Japan under the U.S. “nuclear umbrella” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The paper said the two leaders are expected to discuss the security environment in East Asia and the U.S.-Japan defense posture and agree that “changing the status quo by force is unacceptable” with China in mind. In addition, the daily conjectured that the two leaders will announce that the threat of other nations’ nuclear weapons will be addressed by U.S. nuclear forces. NHK filed a similar story.


Noting that the United States is obliged to protect Japan based on Article 5 of the U.S. -Japan Security Treaty with not only its conventional military forces but also its nuclear and other forces and that Japan under the three non-nuclear principles relies on the U.S. “nuclear umbrella,” Nikkei said the two leaders are expected to redeclare this nuclear deterrence posture after their summit. The daily projected that they may even demonstrate a stance of further boosting nuclear deterrence. The paper quoted Hitotsubashi University Professor Akiyama as saying: “The United States declared even before Russia invaded Ukraine that a third world war must be avoided. This gave rise to concern [in Japan] about U.S. assistance during a contingency…. It will send an important signal if the two leaders reaffirm the credibility of deterrence, including nuclear deterrence, and that the United States and Japan are in sync vis-a-vis China.”

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