President Trump’s rhetoric and a highly threatening North Korea are chipping away at Japan’s nuclear neuralgia.
It is often argued that Japan suffers from a “nuclear allergy” — an intense reaction to all nuclear issues, stemming from the United States’ nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Indeed, after the Fukushima disaster in 2011, radiation-affected individuals faced stigmatization and popular trust in the use of nuclear energy, let alone the acquisition of nuclear arms, dropped massively. Yet there are other forces pushing Japan in different directions. U.S. President Donald Trump has pressed Japan to get its own nuclear weapons, while North Korean missiles flew over Hokkaido in August and September. Earlier this week, another North Korean projectile that landed in the Japanese exclusive economic zone. Experts worry that the latest North Korean missile can be tipped with nuclear material.
What does Japan’s nuclear allergy look like in the context of these changing circumstances?
For more, see: Is Japan’s ‘Nuclear Allergy’ Being Cured? | The Diplomat