Hashimoto claims nuclear arms abolition is impossible

Kyodo

Outspoken Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto said Saturday in Hiroshima that it is impossible to abolish nuclear weapons and that Japan is “peace-addicted.”

“It would impossible, given the current international political situation” to abolish nuclear weapons, Hashimoto, also head of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), said. “Japan is a little bit peace-addicted. Who can abolish nuclear weapons even if Japan is eager to achieve it?”

He was visiting the city as part of campaigning for his party, which is seeking to form a “third force” to take on the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and main opposition Liberal Democratic Party in the run-up to the next lower house election in cooperation with hawkish former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara.

Hashimoto also indicated to reporters that he would accept the entry of nuclear weapons into Japan, currently banned under the country’s “three non-nuclear principles,” saying, “It could be possible as Japan is protected under the nuclear power of the United States.”

If nuclear weapons are actually being brought in, “we need to open it up to the public for debate,” he said.

The three principles prohibit Japan from possessing, producing or introducing any nuclear arms into its territory.

“We basically need to adhere to the principles, but we should not lie about the entry of nuclear arms in terms of security,” Hashimoto said.

Earlier this month, Hashimoto said his party would not allow Japan to possess nuclear arms, while accepting debate about it.