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A world free of nuclear weapons?

October 23, 2012



Japan shies away from 16-nation plan to outlaw atomic weapons




The government on Monday said it will not join an initiative launched by 16 members of the United Nations calling for efforts to outlaw nuclear weapons because it would affect Japan's security alliance with the United States.

A statement drafted by countries including Switzerland and Norway seeking efforts to outlaw nuclear weapons is slated to be submitted to the First Committee of the U.N. General Assembly in New York as early as Monday.

"We have decided to refrain from participating" in the initiative, Senior Vice Foreign Minister Kazuya Shinba told a news conference, adding that it "isn't necessarily consistent with our country's national security policy."

A senior Foreign Ministry official said it is "indispensible to ensure deterrence under Japan-U.S. security arrangements, including (that provided by) nuclear weapons, if you take Japan's security environment into account."

The draft statement, a copy of which was obtained by Kyodo News, calls on all states to "intensify their efforts to outlaw nuclear weapons and achieve a world free of nuclear weapons."



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