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Will Japan go nuclear?

If you were the prime minister of Japan, what would be on your mind right now, given that North Korea had just tested a nuclear device that reportedly had the explosive power  of the bomb dropped on Nagasaki? My guess is you’d be looking into the possibility of Japan’s becoming a nuclear  power as soon ...

If you were the prime minister of Japan, what would be on your mind right now, given that North Korea had just tested a nuclear device that reportedly had the explosive power  of the bomb dropped on Nagasaki?

My guess is you’d be looking into the possibility of Japan’s becoming a nuclear  power as soon as possible. Already, North Korea’s ballistic missile tests had been unsettling folks in Tokyo. Hawks in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party have been questioning Japan’s pacifistic constitution for years, and they are proposing that the Japanese military be allowed to launch pre-emptive strikes against North Korea.

"Japan should have the ability to strike enemy bases within the scope of its defence-oriented policy, in order not to sit and wait for death," an LDP committee’s proposal reads.

This incident is, in a way, a political gift to Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, who has long taken a tough line on North Korea. He’s bound to take advantage of the nuclear test to put some more distance between the LDP and the opposition Democratic Party, which has been steadily gaining strength ahead of general elections that are expected for later this year.

Japan going nuclear would not please the Chinese, and it could inspire Taiwan to revive its own nuclear dreams. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

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