Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged Tuesday that Japan would not
develop nuclear weapons despite North Korea's first test of an atom
Abe, a conservative who supports a stronger role for Japan's
military, rejected speculation that North Korea's announcement on
Monday of a nuclear test would trigger a regional arms race.
"Possession of nuclear arms is not an option at all for our
country," Abe said in parliament.
"I want to state clearly that there will be no change at all in
our three non-nuclear principles," he said.
Abe was referring to Japan's four-decade-old policy against
"possession, production and presence" of nuclear arms in its
More than 210,000 people died instantly or from horrific burns
when the United States dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and
Nagasaki in 1945, ending World War II.
The North Korea's test came with Japan expanding its defence
posture, 60 years after the United States forced the defeated
country to renounce a right to a military.
The Japanese parliament Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution
demanding an immediate end to the nuclear program in North
"Japan strongly demands the DPRK immediately abandon all nuclear
weapons and nuclear programs," said the resolution passed by the
480-member lower house.
"The international community has ... urged North Korea to use
restraint. But North Korea's nuclear experiment ignored such
efforts. It cannot be justified in any way for any reason. Japan
cannot tolerate this reckless act of outrageous violence," it
"In view of the fact that Japan is the only country in the world
that suffered nuclear bombing, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, this
legislative body opposes nuclear experiments by all countries," the
"The North Korea's nuclear development is a direct threat to
peace and security of Northeast Asia, including Japan. At the same
time, it is a great challenge to peace and security of the
international community," it said.
The resolution calls for a diplomatic end to the crisis.
But it said the UN Security Council should consider as one
option a resolution that invokes the UN Charter's Chapter VII,
which provides for mandatory sanctions or, as a last resort,
The resolution also called for Japan to strengthen co-ordination
with China, South Korea and other countries "to explore peaceful
resolutions to the issue."
(China Daily October 11, 2006)