Japan Hints it Could Allow U.S. Nuclear Basing in a Crisis

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Global Security Newswire Staff
Feb. 14, 2014, 7:31 a.m.

Tokyo hin­ted on Fri­day that it could per­mit the basing of U.S. nuc­le­ar weapons on Ja­pan­ese ter­rit­ory in the event of a ser­i­ous threat to its na­tion­al se­cur­ity.

Ja­pan­ese For­eign Min­is­ter Fu­mio Kishida in a brief­ing to law­makers sketched out spe­cif­ic ex­cep­tions un­der which the coun­try’s long­stand­ing prin­ciples against the de­vel­op­ment, host­ing and pos­ses­sion of nuc­le­ar arms could be par­tially set aside, Ky­odo News re­por­ted.

Kishida said Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe’s ad­min­is­tra­tion fol­lows the policy of its pre­de­cessor, which is that con­tin­ued ad­her­ence to the non-nuc­le­ar prin­ciples when there is a threat to the Ja­pan­ese pub­lic’s safety “de­pends on the de­cision of the ad­min­is­tra­tion in power.”

“The fu­ture can­not be de­term­ined in ad­vance,” Kishida said, re­fer­ring to com­ments made by former For­eign Min­is­ter Kat­suya Okada, who dur­ing his ten­ure also hin­ted that U.S. nuc­le­ar war­heads could be al­lowed in­to Ja­pan in a crisis situ­ation.

The former gov­ern­ing Demo­crat­ic Party of Ja­pan in 2010 re­vealed a dec­ades-old bi­lat­er­al un­der­stand­ing with the United States that per­mit­ted nuc­le­ar-armed U.S. sub­mar­ines to make port calls at the Ok­inawa mil­it­ary base in ap­par­ent vi­ol­a­tion of Tokyo’s prin­ciple against the basing of atom­ic weapons. That ta­cit agree­ment is un­der­stood to have been re­tired in the early 1990s, with the end of the Cold War.