Former Parliamentary Vice Minister of Defense Shingo Nishimura urged Japan on Wednesday to adopt a more positive role for the security of East Asia through such steps as forming its own legitimate military forces and introducing its own aircraft carriers. Nishimura, who resigned in October after suggesting in a magazine article that Japan consider adopting nuclear weapons, claimed that Japan should equal the U.S. in efforts to ensure security and stability in East Asia. “The ‘exclusively defensive’ defense policy that successive Japanese Cabinets have stuck to (since the war) is just stupid,” Nishimura said in a speech at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan. “It would be better to throw that policy into the trash can as a historical document and map out a new defense policy from the perspective of protecting public property around the world.” He suggested that Japan contribute to protecting shipping lanes in Southeast Asia by deploying, if necessary, aircraft carriers. The hawkish Liberal Party lawmaker also reiterated his views on Japan’s three antinuclear principles, which pledge that Japan will never develop, own or permit nuclear weapons on its territory, calling the principles hypocritical. “We are protected under the nuclear umbrella provided by the U.S. It’s merely hypocrisy for such a country to maintain antinuclear principles,” he said, adding that Japan is not in a position to criticize India or Pakistan, which announced earlier this year that they still possess nuclear weapons. “I’m just trying to open the closed window so that (Japanese) people can see the outside world,” Nishimura said. “(Japanese people) like to think there are no nuclear weapons in their room, but outside the window there are atomic weapons, military forces and a number of countries that have no intention of abolishing nuclear weapons.”

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