Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed concern over the possible nuclear weapons policy of “no first use” being considered by the Obama administration, according to a column in the Monday edition of the Washington Post.
Citing a weakening of deterrence against countries such as North Korea, Abe conveyed his concern to Adm. Harry Harris, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, columnist Josh Rogin wrote, quoting two U.S. government officials.
Rogin said Abe “personally” conveyed the message to Harris “recently,” without providing details. But the two are likely to have discussed the issue during a meeting July 26 at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo.
Quoting U.S. officials, foreign diplomats and nuclear experts, the column said U.S. allies such as Japan, South Korea, France and Britain have privately communicated their concerns about a potential declaration by President Barack Obama of such a policy.
“Japan, in particular, believes that if Obama declares a ‘no first use’ policy, deterrence against countries such as North Korea will suffer and the risks of conflict will rise,” according to the column headlined “Allies unite to block Obama ‘legacy.’ “
If Obama were to declare a no first use policy, it would represent a landmark change in the U.S. nuclear posture.
A Japanese government source was noncommittal about the report, saying Tuesday in Tokyo, “The United States is studying (its options), and as it is still in the middle of making a policy decision, (Japan) cannot comment on every news report.”
Given that he will leave office in January, Obama is reportedly considering taking steps to reduce the role of nuclear weapons with an eye to their eventual abolition, as he pledged in his landmark speech in 2009 in Prague.
However, Rogin wrote that an Obama administration official told him that, in part because of allied concerns, the internal push on no first use “was not gaining traction.”
According to the column, diplomats from allied countries argued that if the United States takes a nuclear first strike off the table, the risk of a conventional conflict with countries such as North Korea, China and Russia could increase.
“Moreover, allied governments don’t believe that a unilateral ‘no first use’ declaration would necessarily help to establish an international norm, because there’s no guarantee that other countries would follow suit,” it said.
You can’t go past a news paper, radio show or television news story these days without being flooded by all things Bitcoin or Crypto Currency. Some say it’s the new world of money while others suggest its all just a passing fad. Whatever your position or preference of...
This week I announced a suite of measures for the Government to consider when it comes to small and medium sized business and what we can all be doing as we start to look at emerging from the COVID19 lockdown. The reality is that a good number of small business owners,...
As someone who has been working in suicide prevention for some years now i know that often having a simple conversation can make all of the difference when a loved one is doing it tough. COVID 19 and the lock down tends to amplify how we feel when we are isolation or a...
We know that mob out there are uncertain as to what the COVID-19 / Corona Virus means for them – this can cause us all to panic and some in community more so that others. Panic attacks can compound the situation so we gather some information about what you can do now t...
Don’t forget our elders can suffer in silence too: suicide prevention
Many people think that mental health and suicide are not topics that impact our elders but they could not be more wrong. The data tells us there continues to be an emerging trend when it comes to peop...