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.
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...
Wherever you look these days, not matter the developed country, whole population groups and peoples struggle with the daily grind of life. From children in state care to mental health, from affordable housing to the primary health system and from education to employmen...
For the last few years I have been fortunate to have been involved in the aged care sector and have seen both the lows and highs. Today we live in a world where most of us are living longer thank to more awareness around healthy living, the advancement of better medica...
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...