How does Japan view U.S. President Barack Obama's "twin commitments" to the goals of nuclear abolition and maintaining an adequate deterrent as long as nuclear weapons remain?

Obama believes in the commitment of nuclear weapon states under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to work toward eliminating all nuclear weapons. He supports reaffirming this goal, as called for by "the four horsemen" — George Shultz, Henry Kissinger, William Perry, and Sam Nunn — and other proposals to move the United States in this direction. At the same time, he has made clear that "America will not disarm unilaterally" and as long as nuclear weapons exist, the U.S. will retain a strong deterrent. This deterrent will be pursued while the U.S. takes steps to decrease the importance and role of nuclear weapons.

Japan's anticipated response to this twin commitment will reflect the dual identity of Japan's nuclear policy. In a seeming contradiction, it wishes for the elimination of nuclear weapons while simultaneously seeking the maintenance of a credible nuclear extended deterrent.