08:40 GMT18 January 2021
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    US presidential candidate Donald Trump’s suggestion that Japan should develop its own nuclear weapons is shameful, Japanese Atomic Energy Agency member Nobumasa Akiyama said at a Carnegie Institute event on US-Japanese nuclear issues.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — In an interview published over the weekend, Republican presidential frontrunner Trump argued that the United States pays too much money to provide a nuclear umbrella for Japan and other key Asian ally, South Korea. He suggested that the United States may "be better off" in terms of security, if Japan had nuclear weapons to counter the threat of North Korea.

    "Of course, we are very much embarrassed to hear that the potential president of the United States subtly encouraged us to think about the nuclear option," Akiyama said on Monday.

    Akiyama, a top professor of nuclear issues at Hitotsubashi University, explained that within the mainstream security community, there is a common understanding "that the nuclear option is not the best option for Japan to defend itself."

    Following Trump’s remarks over the weekend, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Monday that Japan’s commitment to not owning, making or allowing nuclear weapons remains an important policy of the government.


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