Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday that Japan should break a long-standing taboo and hold an active debate on nuclear weapons – including a possible “nuclear-sharing” program similar to that of NATO – in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Japan is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has its three non-nuclear principles, but it should not treat as a taboo discussions on the reality of how the world is kept safe,” Abe said during a television program.

Abe, who quit as prime minister in 2020 but remains highly influential as head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s largest faction, noted that had Ukraine kept some of the nuclear weapons it inherited after the breakup of the Soviet Union instead of exchanging them for a security guarantee, it may not have faced an invasion by Russia.