Japanese Prime Minister Rejects Idea of Sharing US Nuclear Weapons Under NATO
07:35 GMT 02.03.2022 (Updated: 07:42 GMT 02.03.2022)
TOKYO (Sputnik) - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has dismissed the possibility of US nuclear sharing as contrary to the country's non-nuclear principles.
Last weekend, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the broadcaster Fuji that Tokyo should not "set a taboo on discussing the reality of how the world is protected", citing the example of NATO's nuclear sharing concept, where US nuclear weapons are deployed in some NATO member states, including Germany and Italy. Meanwhile, Abe recalled that the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had suffered from atomic bombings and stressed the need to pursue the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
"It was not a matter of possessing, but of sharing nuclear weapons. Sharing nuclear weapons would mean delivering US nuclear weapons to our territory and, in case of contingency, placing them on our fighters and maintaining their functioning", Kishida said at a parliamentary budget committee hearing.
At the same time, Kishida referred to Japan's policy of three non-nuclear principles adopted in the 1970s, which entails the non-production, non-possession, and non-introduction of nuclear weapons in the country.
"If the joint use of US nuclear deterrence for defence purposes signifies this, then from the standpoint of strict adherence to the three non-nuclear principles as well as the peaceful use of nuclear energy, it is difficult for the government to accept this", Kishida added.
Out of the three NATO nuclear powers, France, the United Kingdom, and the US, only Washington provides weapons for nuclear sharing. To date US nuclear weapons are deployed in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey as part of NATO's nuclear sharing policy.