Author`s name Olga Savka

Japan to Acquire Modern Nuclear Weapons?

Japanese officials consider an issue to strike preventive blows against a hostile state

The doctrine to strike preventive blows on a potential aggressor becomes more and more popular. Proponents of this idea say that it is a lot better to leave an aggressor behind and to be the first to strike, instead of waiting for an aggressor to launch missiles. If innocent people die as a result of that, there will be nothing wrong about it – it will be a dictator’s fault, and no one will ever know, why such an idea occurred to him.

Samurais descendants add the preventive blows doctrine to their armory, following the example of the American administration. The head of the Japanese National Defense department Sigaru Isiba said yesterday at a session of the Japanese parliament that Japan was likely to expand the framework of its defense program with an opportunity to strike preventive blows on missile bases of a foreign hostile state. As the Japanese official stated, this would be possible to do in case if Japan considers that a foreign state threatens its national security.

It is not really hard to guess, where that hostile foreign state is situated. One has to look at the map of the world for that. Tokyo is very concerned about North Korean missile program. N.Korea has already launched several missiles, which flew across Japanese islands successfully. It is not ruled out that one day those missiles will fly not across, but towards Japan.

The US ambassador to Russia, Alexander Vershbow, stated that the United States might use any methods for the settlement of the North Korean issue. The ambassador said that North Korea might use the fact that the American administration is too much preoccupied with the war in Iraq. Alexander Vershbow thinks that North Korea might do something that would exacerbate the conflict.

As a matter of fact, this can be called into question. Of course, the North Korean regime has never been shy to defame the United States in an open way. However, Kim Jong Il is not likely to make it all become a direct armed conflict, for this would mean the end of his own power. At the end of the day, if an armed conflict happens, it will be South Korea and Japan that will suffer from it first. That is why, it is perfectly clear, why the head of the Japanese defense department set forth such a statement. However, it has been sixty years since the end of  WWII, although a lot of people still remember, what Japan did in a lot of countries of the Far East and South-East Asia. Those countries are not likely to be happy to know that Japan has guided missiles of its own, or nuclear weapons of its own. Japanese politicians have referred to this issue a lot of times during the recent years. However, all those talks were very cautious, on the level of a personal opinion, so to speak. For example, the Secretary General of the Japanese cabinet of ministers Yasuo Fukuda commended on Isiba’s statement and said that the head of the Japanese defense department mentioned that the preventive strikes doctrine issue was worth considering. Fukuda added that Isiba did not say that it would be done. One may not doubt that Japan will acquire up-to-date weapons if there is a need for that. At the end of the day, Japan has already launched two spy satellites today.

Vasily Bubnov

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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