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Nuclear deterrence is taking center stage in Japan’s security policy after Russia’s threat to use nuclear weapons amid its war against Ukraine, with Tokyo re-emphasizing the centrality of the U.S. nuclear umbrella amid regional tensions heightened by China’s muscle flexing.

But Japan will still face a delicate balancing act since, as the only country to have experienced the horrors of a nuclear attack, it remains committed to leading discussions on bringing about a world without nuclear weapons and will continue to face calls from survivors of the 1945 atomic bombings to do more to achieve that.

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