On April 11, NHK broadcast a debate program concerning the right to collective self-defense. In the middle of it, all six participants and two moderators were frozen by a question from a scholar: “Each and every government official insists that the international environment surrounding Japan is getting more volatile. If so, why do they step up the efforts to restart nuclear facilities? If North Korea struck operational facilities, that could bring about catastrophic damage across the country.”

At a May 15 news conference, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sounded determined to legalize, through reinterpretation of the Constitution, the right to collective self-defense for nations with which Japan has “close ties.” If a war between North and South Korea broke out, Japan might be obliged to fight directly against North Korea. What would North Korea target?

Operational nuclear facilities would become possible and effective targets. The scholar’s remark indicated that neither the right to collective self-defense nor the restart of nuclear power plants should be considered separately.

norikazu wada
kashiba, nara

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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