Under the ruling bloc's security bills, the Self-Defense Forces would theoretically be allowed to transport, repair or store nuclear, chemical and biological weapons for a foreign or multinational force, Defense Minister Gen Nakatani told the Upper House on Wednesday.

But his statement came with an important caveat.

In reality, Nakatani emphasized, Japan would never actually carry out such an operation because the United States, Japan's main military ally, would not ask Tokyo to do so, given the "unique nature" of nuclear weapons and Washington's policy of not forward-deploying nuclear weapons in the Pacific.