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Japan Should Look Into Having Nuclear Submarines, Candidate for Ruling Party Head Says

© Sputnik / Maxim Blinov / Go to the mediabankJapanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.09.2021
TOKYO (Sputnik) - Japan should carefully study the idea of having nuclear submarines, a contender for the leadership of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, the former foreign minister and defence minister of the country, Taro Kono, said on 26 September.
The issue of nuclear submarines came up against the backdrop of a deal that will see the US and the UK help Australia, another Pacific Ocean power, build its own nuclear-powered submarines.

"If we talk about having them potentially, then I think Japan's possession of nuclear submarines is very important. However, I believe it is necessary to conduct a comprehensive study of issues such as their area of use, accommodation costs, and others", Kono said during a debate aired on Fuji TV.

Kono was supported by another candidate, former Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Sanae Takaichi, while the other two contenders — former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Deputy Secretary General of the party Seiko Noda — demonstrated a more cautious approach.

"If we talk about the need for nuclear submarines from the point of view of ensuring the security of Japan, I believe that it is worth considering to what extent this is really necessary", Kishida said.

The Liberal Democratic Party will elect a new leader on 29 September. Incumbent leader of the party and prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, unexpectedly announced earlier this month that he would not be running for re-election, although he would serve the remainder of his term, which ends on 30 September.
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