Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Possible kingmaker calls for nuclear-armed Japan
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Nov 20, 2012

Firebrand former Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara, a potential kingmaker in next month's general election, said Tuesday Japan must acquire nuclear weapons if it wants to be taken seriously.

At very least, avowedly pacifist Japan should examine what it would need to do to join the club of declared nuclear powers, the 80-year-old arch conservative told foreign journalists in Tokyo.

"I think Japan should at least carry out an analysis on going nuclear," Ishihara said.

"The diplomatic voice of countries without nuclear weapons is overwhelmingly weak," he said.

Ishihara has a long track record of saying controversial things and breaking cultural taboos. He has previously expressed the same thoughts on Japan -- the only country on which a nuclear attack has ever taken place -- getting atomic weapons.

But his comments Tuesday come just days after he was declared leader of a populist party forged ahead of the December 16 general election with the express aim of challenging the two major forces in Japanese politics.

Next month's poll is expected to end without a clear result, with prime minister Yoshihiko Noda's Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party seen likely to fall short of a majority.

Commentators expect a period of horse trading as a coalition is forged, with Ishihara's Japan Restoration Party (JRP) a leading contender for a post-election political marriage.

Ishihara said he was "too old" for a ministerial brief and stressed that his views were personal, rather than those of his party.

His comments are also at odds with public opinion, which overwhelmingly backs Japan's pacifist constitution and, since the disaster at Fukushima, has developed a pervasive distrust of nuclear power.

However, they may strike a chord with a section of the public frustrated with what they see as Japan's diplomatic missteps in the face of an assertive China, particularly on the issue of disputed islands in the East China Sea.

Ishihara, who decades ago served as an LDP lawmaker and minister, is widely known for the colourful, often abrasive remarks he daubs on the otherwise grey world of Japanese politics.

Speaking to reporters at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan, the novelist-turned politician took aim at China, a favourite bogeyman of the right.

"In theory it would be good if Japan and China could foster friendship, but Chinese policy is that of a hegemony," he said.

"The Tibetan situation invites tremendous sympathy. Japan must not become like Tibet, violated by China's high-handed approach," he said, adding Tokyo should look to form alliances with other countries in the region that have territorial disputes with China, such as the Philippines and Vietnam.

Ishihara is widely blamed for the recent flare-up with China over what Japan calls the Senkakus and Beijing claims as the Diaoyus, because it was his plan to buy them that provoked the spat.

The national government stepped in to outbid Ishihara, who said he wanted to built a lighthouse and a small harbour there, but not before he had amassed 1.4 billion yen ($17.5 million) in public donations towards the purchase.

Riots and product boycotts followed in China, which has repeatedly sent government ships to disputed waters to press its claim for ownership.


Related Links
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at
Learn about missile defense at
All about missiles at
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Iran says to attend conference on nuke-free Mideast
Vienna (AFP) Nov 06, 2012
Iran has decided to attend a conference in Finland next month on creating a zone in the Middle East free of nuclear weapons, Tehran's ambassador to the UN atomic agency said Tuesday. "I announced officially today (Tuesday) in a Brussels ... that the Islamic Republic of Iran has decided to participate in the conference in Helsinki in December," Ali Asghar Soltanieh told AFP by phone from Brus ... read more

China's Chang'e-3 to land on moon next year

Moon crater yields impact clues

Study: Moon basin formed by giant impact

NASA's LADEE Spacecraft Gets Final Science Instrument Installed

Martian And Terran History Finding a common denominator

Meteorites reveal warm water existed on Mars

NASA Rover Providing New Weather and Radiation Data About Mars

CU LASP package ready for MAVEN integration bound for Mars

NASA Selects Information Technology Flight Operations Support Contract

SciTechTalk: All work and no play?

Get some bed rest - all 21 days of it

Latest China military hardware displayed at airshow

Mr Xi in Space

China plans manned space launch in 2013: state media

China to launch manned spacecraft

Tiangong 1 Parked And Waiting As Shenzhou 10 Mission Prep Continues

Three ISS crew return to Earth in Russian capsule

Station Crew Off Duty After Undocking

Space station command changes

Russia restores space contact after cable rupture

France, Germany seek Ariane compromise at ESA space meet

ILS Launches the EchoStar XVI Satellite

Arianespace's fourth Spaceport mission with Soyuz ready for fueling

Ariane 5's sixth launch of 2012

Rare image of Super-Jupiter sheds light on planet formation

Astronomers Directly Image Massive Star's 'Super-Jupiter'

NASA's Kepler Wraps Prime Mission, Begins Extension

Lowell astronomer, collaborators point the way for exoplanet search

Bug repellent for supercomputers proves effective

Keeneland Project Deploys New GPU Supercomputing System for the National Science Foundation

Lockheed Martin Expands Range Of Cloud Computing Services for UK Government

Invisibility cloaking to shield floating objects from waves

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement