The only great power not nuclear is the only power that has risen from feudalism to potential world domination in such speed that virtually proves the Rome-in-a-day cliché obsolete. Our only true East Asian friend, Japan currently is the only country in East Asia trustworthy enough to have nukes, and instead, it is quite overwhelmingly and increasingly the opposite. Just three days earlier, another high-ranking member of the ruling party had transgressed the same taboo and called for open debate about Japan's acquiring nuclear weapons.
World War II is over as Krauthammer reminds us, but is stirring the nuclear pot really such a good idea?
In his op-ed piece in the WaPo, Charles Krauthammer asks, why not:
..."The reality is that it is only Japan that has not discussed possessing nuclear weapons, and all other countries have been discussing it."Despite the (questionably sincere) news that NoKo may be capitulating, Krauthammer's point is still valid. Japan has every right to obtain nukes as a sovereign state, but would their nuclear defense make things worse for the world, or better?
Japan is not just a model international citizen -- dynamic economy, stable democracy, self-effacing foreign policy -- it is also the most important and reliable U.S. ally after only Britain. One of the quieter success stories of recent American foreign policy has been the intensification of the U.S.-Japanese alliance.
Why are we so intent on denying this stable, reliable, democratic ally the means to help us shoulder the burden in a world where so many other allies -- the inveterately appeasing South Koreans most notoriously -- insist on the free ride?
It's easy to understand the desire to have an effective defense, or at least armed deterrence. But with millions of lives contingent on the push of a button, is it about sovereign liberty or life? I would argue it's about the perpetuance of both.
If North Korea and Iran can pursue and obtain nuclear weapons, why the hell shouldn't the guy in the cross-hairs be able to build them? I don't want to see nuclear proliferation anymore than the next guy, but the cold hard reality is that just like law enforcement, the United States nor the UN would be able to prevent victimization, nor able to prevent nuclear proliferation among rogue regimes.
Truth be told, if nukes are gonna fly, they would be less inclined to fly reciprocally.
A nuclear Japan would deter a nuclear attack on them, and as Krauthammer says, why should we alone shoulder the cost if they are ready and willing?
But what Krauthammer negligently omits, is the consequence of regional destabilization from a nuclear Japan. Destabilization would undermine the whole NoKo resolution, disrupt trade, cause another international melee, and should not be ignored. Clearly, this is up to Japan, but our Secretary of State is not the wrongheaded knee-jerker as Krauthammer would have you believe.
Just three days earlier, another high-ranking member of the ruling party had transgressed the same taboo and called for open debate about Japan's acquiring nuclear weapons.The American reaction to such talk is knee-jerk opposition. Like those imperial Japanese soldiers discovered holed up on some godforsaken Pacific island decades after World War II, we continue to act as if we, too, never received news of the Japanese surrender...