Abe’s true nuclear ambitions laid bare

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/8/16 23:53:40

The Washington Post reported on Monday that the US government is mulling a "no first use" nuclear weapons policy. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe privately communicated his concerns to the White House via the head of the US Pacific Command, Harry Harris, saying the deterrence against North Korea will suffer and the risk of conflicts will escalate.

Due to the lobbying of some worrisome allies, the Obama administration has not put the idea into practice.

Most experts do not believe the change will happen. Obama is simply making a final gesture to the outside, showing his intention to build a nuclear-free world, so he can leave the Oval Office as a fruitful and friendly leader.

It doesn't matter if Tokyo likes it or not, Obama's wish can hardly become reality. He won't even get sufficient support from Congress. But Abe's reaction to this impractical idea deserves our attention.

As the only country that has been attacked by nuclear bombs, Japan, especially Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is still living in a lingering nightmare. Citizens in the two cities keep demanding the Japanese government lobby the US to adopt a "no first use" nuclear policy. Besides, Japan has entitled the Three Non-Nuclear Principles as its national policy for years. Japan should have been firm in its support for the US to make the historic change.

Japan is under the US' nuclear umbrella, fearing the deterrence will be weakened if the US stops using nuclear weapons first. Tokyo hopes every country that threatens Japan has to consider the risk of being nuked by the US. In other words, even without nuclear weapons, Japan is still able to launch nuclear strikes.

Does this logic make sense for a so-called pacifist country that is under a pacifist constitution?

If the US adopts a "no first use" policy, this will alter the whole picture of the global situation of nuclear weapons. Other nuclear states will have to follow suit, and the odds of a nuclear arms race will be much lessened. The trend will lead to a nuclear-free world.

Among all the nuclear powerhouses, only China has made the "no first-use" commitment, the second day after its first nuclear test. Obama seems to want to equal China in this case, but he hasn't walked the talk.

Now, if even Abe, the most docile lackey of the US, can file a complaint to the US on this case, it seems really difficult for a White House master to overcome barriers and do something good for mankind.

We don't know which Abe really wants to defend against, North Korea and its ill-developed nuclear weapons, or China.

After Obama's term ends, the concept of nuclear-free world might be given the cold shoulder. Abe's response to Obama's last-minute effort to promote the concept has shown his true colors. Japan is fully capable of developing nuclear weapons, and now we know better  about its ambitions.

Posted in: Editorial

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