Balancing Between Nuclear Deterrence and Disarmament: Views from the Next Generation

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Balancing Between Nuclear Deterrence and Disarmament: Views from the Next Generation

Balancing Between Nuclear Deterrence and Disarmament: Views from the Next Generation presents policy briefs exploring Japan’s complex balancing act between its short-term need for nuclear deterrence and long-term desire for nuclear disarmament. In order to meet its national security need for nuclear deterrence while continuing to ensure room for its nuclear disarmament diplomacy, Japan has taken a carefully-balanced approach towards the policy issues related to nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear deterrence. Within the framework of maintaining a strong U.S.-Japan alliance, Japan has sought to ensure the reliability of U.S. extended nuclear deterrence by measures that include close cooperation on ballistic missile defense and active engagement in bilateral dialogue on extended deterrence. At the same time, despite increasing its dependence on nuclear power, Japan has maintained its status as a responsible generator and user of civil nuclear power by becoming a leading example of how a country that is technically capable of pursuing nuclear weapons can remain a strong advocate for nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament as a non-nuclear state, including having accepted the most stringent inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Through these policy choices, Japan has tried to bridge the gap between nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states by consistently attempting to lead the effort for practical steps towards nuclear disarmament.

This project, conceptualized and led by Senior Associate Yuki Tatsumi, examined the factors impacting Japan's policies on nuclear deterrence and disarmament with five policy briefs written by Masahiro Kurita, Fellow at the National Institute for Defense Studies in Japan's Ministry of Defense; Wakana Mukai, Assistant Professor at Asia University; Masashi Murano, Research Fellow at the Okazaki Institute; Masahiro Okuda, Ph.D. candidate at Takushoku University; and Heigo Sato, Vice President of the Institute for World Studies at Takushoku University. The project concluded with a publication launch event at the Stimson Center on March 19, 2018. The report was edited by Yuki Tatsumi and Research Associate Pamela Kennedy, assisted by Japan Program research intern Eunseo Kim.