Tuesday, March 27, 2007


The Honorable Saitō Yukio, writing in NBR Analysis Volume 18, No. 1, manages to dispose with clarity and brevity the possibility of Japan undertaking a nuclear breakout.

It is evident that independent nuclear deterrence is not an optimal strategy for a country like Japan, which geographically lacks the so-called strategic depth. Japan does not need nuclear weapons for the purpose of attaining recognition in international politics. On the contrary, an attempt to possess nuclear weapons, which would be costly for Japan politically as well as economically, would be almost tantamount to opting for isolation. More fundamentally, the Japanese people's abhorrence of nuclear weapons, which derives from the experiences of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is far more deeply rooted in the nation's psyche than strategic calculations. All in all, a nuclear domino involving Japan is not a plausible assumption, even though the hypothesis is not theoretically deniable.

Nicely put.

Hmmm....as the Ambassador to the Netherlands in the period 1994 to 1995, I wonder whether or not Saitō-sensei might have some choice words about the current government's fumbling over the comfort women issues. The PM's fellow travelers (and possibly the PM himself) have made Saitō-sensei's life more interesting than he would have liked over the past few years. Perhaps he might be willing to share with us all the Japanese government's goals and strategies in seeking a separate settlement the Queen's government over the comfort women of the former Dutch East Indies--a compact whose meaning the Dutch government is purportedly starting to question.

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