Blackeagle (
Sat, 22 Apr 2000 11:10:37 MST

>I don't believe Japan CAN develop a nuclear alternative, can they? I mean,
>they can't have a full-fleged Armed Services or anything like that, all
>can have is the Self-Defense Forces as per the surrender after
>this correct?

The prohibition is actually in Japan's postwar constitution rather than
their surrender (though the constitution was written by General MacArthur).
Not only does the constitution renounce the use of armed force to resolve
disputes, but it says "land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war
potential will never be maintained."

This is why Japan has a Air/Ground/Maritime "Self Defense Force" rather than
an Army/Navy/Air Force. However, this is a semantic fig leaf at best.
Their "Self Defense Forces" are organized and equipped like an army, navy
and air force. Thus, since Japan has been in de facto, if not de jure
violation of Article 9 of it's constitution for several decades, so I don't
think it really presents all that great an obstacle to the development of
nuclear weapons.

This is not to say that there wouldn't be a great deal of political
opposition to the development of nuclear weapons. Many Japanese have very
strong feelings on this subject (with good reason). However, I think that
as the number of those who can actually remember August 1945 dwindles, this
becomes less of a factor. If the threat was great enough and if they did
not feel sufficiently protected by U.S. nuclear weapons, I think Japan would
develop it's own nuclear deterrent.

>>that the U.S. would definitely retaliate. More importatly, the Japanese
>>government probably believes they would be protected by the U.S. nuclear
>>deterrent, which is a very good thing. The minute Japan belives the U.S.
>>would not act to defend them from a Chineese or Russian nuclear attack
>>have to consider developing their own nuclear deterrent.

Chris Upchurch a.k.a. Blackeagle

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