Thursday, May 26, 2005

Nuclear Japan? Definitely not!

I received some comments about possible Japanese nuclear deployment. Certainly, it is discussed among American foreign policy makers, saying that North Korean threat may lead Japan to possess nuclear deterrence. However, this does not help Japan’s national interest.
First, non-proliferation is the vital issue in US foreign policy. If Japan decides to have weapons of mass destruction, this will be a serious challenge to the United States. Currently, America regards China as the most critical security concern in the Far East. Due to rapid military build-up, human rights violations, high-handed diplomacy, and so forth, China has become a grave troublemaker in East Asia. A nuclear Japan will pose furthermore threat to the United States and the whole Asia-Pacific region. With advanced technology and larger economy, a Japan like this will appear more dangerous to the United States. In that case, America may have to choose China over Japan.
This is the worst scenario for Japan. During the World War II, Japan confronted the United States and China, the big two in the Asia-Pacific area, at the same time. This country must not make the same mistake again.
Second, military experts explore to change armed forces lighter, more agile, and more flexible these days. The Cold War is over. Regional conflicts and terrorism has become increasingly important issues. For a country like Japan, gigantic weapons, such as nuclear bombs, strategic missiles, and aircraft carriers, are not suitable for these requirements. When Japan sends armed forces abroad, it will participate the operation with the United States and its allies. American forces will control the air and the sea. It is Japan’s role to dispatch small, agile, and efficient combat units.
A comparison of Britain and France illustrates it very clearly. While Britain concentrates its nuclear power on US-made Trident missiles, France still maintains various kinds of strategic nuclear weapons. Moreover, the deployment of nuclear powered aircraft carrier turned out too costly for France. As a result, French forces were ridiculed backpackers in the Balkans, because its performance was too poor. On the other hand, Britain has been highly evaluated for its small and efficient armed forces.

Therefore, it is no Japanese interest to have its own nuclear weapons. But it is not stupid for Americans to think of possible nuclear development by Japan. While the South Korean government abides by the Non-Proliferation Treaty, scientists violated this pact. In any case, the Japanese nation will not be enthusiastic to possess such a dangerous weapon.