Reverberations from the U.S. presidential election in November and debate over Washington's nuclear nonproliferation policy may be felt in Japan.

In February, President George W. Bush announced a policy banning North Korea and several other countries from reprocessing spent nuclear fuel and enriching uranium, while recognizing that developed countries allied with the United States should be allowed to continue production.

But Tetsuya Umemoto, a University of Shizuoka professor and a specialist on nuclear proliferation, said the U.S. Democratic Party takes the position of limiting atomic power use by nonnuclear countries, and this stance is a problem for Japan.

After entering the White House in January 1977, President Jimmy Carter proposed a freeze on nuclear fuel reprocessing. He was concerned over a possible increase in the number of countries possessing nuclear weapons after seeing India develop and test a nuclear bomb in 1974.