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PacNet #50A – Straight Talk About Japan’s Nuclear Option

Take a deep breath. Repeat after me: “Japan is not going to develop nuclear weapons.” Repeat. Feel better?

Yes, North Korea’s nuclear test is a blow to the regional security order. It is a bitter defeat for diplomacy. And yes, Japanese (and Chinese and Americans and South Koreans and others) are concerned about its implications, but the fear – the assumption? – that Japan will develop its own nuclear weapons as a consequence is pure fantasy. Japanese understand that the nuclear option is a last-gasp desperate move that will create more instability and insecurity than it will eliminate.