INTERVIEW: LDP's Onodera Wants National Debate on Nuclear Umbrella


Tokyo, June 1 (Jiji Press)--Senior Japanese ruling party lawmaker Itsunori Onodera has underlined the need for a national debate on the extended deterrence including the U.S. nuclear umbrella.

"Relying on the (U.S.) nuclear umbrella is the same as saying 'please defend us even by using nuclear weapons,'" Onodera, chairman of the LDP's Research Commission on Security, said in a recent interview with Jiji Press.

The Japanese public has long been lacking preparedness for a situation in which nuclear weapons could be actually used for defending the country, said Onodera, who led the LDP's recent compilation of a package of proposals including calls for a substantial increase in Japan's defense spending and its possession of a counterstrike capability.

Some say Japan should not depend on the nuclear umbrella or discuss nuclear weapons issues as it is the only country to have been attacked with nuclear arms, Onodera, former defense minister, noted. But he added, "Shouldn't we discuss issues related to nuclear weapons?"

Onodera said that Russia invaded Ukraine as Moscow misunderstood Ukraine as a weak nation with no country to defend it.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press