The Cable

U.S. allies pressure Obama over nuke plans

In an unprecedented display of Japanese concern about U.S. nuclear plans, more than 200 Japanese parliamentarians have written to President Obama asking him to drastically alter the U.S. approach to nuclear weapons. The letter comes as the Obama administration is putting the final touches on its wholesale review of nuclear weapons policy, called the Nuclear ...

In an unprecedented display of Japanese concern about U.S. nuclear plans, more than 200 Japanese parliamentarians have written to President Obama asking him to drastically alter the U.S. approach to nuclear weapons.

The letter comes as the Obama administration is putting the final touches on its wholesale review of nuclear weapons policy, called the Nuclear Posture Review.

"As members of the Diet of the only country to have experienced nuclear bombings … We strongly desire that the United States immediately adopt a declaratory policy stating that the ‘sole purpose’ of U.S. nuclear weapons is to deter others from using such weapons," said the letter, which Japanese lawmakers hand delivered to U.S. Ambassador John Roos on Feb. 19.

Unfortunately for the Japanese, however, administration officials have told The Cable that although the final version of the NPR isn’t finished, no fundamental change in the role of nuclear weapons is expected to be announced.

The letter also contained a thinly veiled reference to the concern that Japan could consider a nuclear program of its own.

"We are firmly convinced that Japan will not seek the road toward possession of nuclear weapons if the U.S. adopts a "sole purpose" policy," the letter stated.

The Japanese aren’t the only allies calling for quick action on Obama’s pledge to move toward a nuclear free world, as promised in his April speech in Prague. On Feb. 20, Belgian officials announced they would spearhead a call by Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Norway for the U.S. to remove all of its nuclear warheads from Europe.

 Twitter: @joshrogin

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