The real reason why Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, refuses to abandon nuclear power is because he wants to develop a nuclear weapons program, claims the Hong Kong-based Wen Wei Po, citing Koide Hiroaki, an assistant professor at the Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute.
There have been strong calls for Tokyo to reconsider its position on nuclear energy after the Fukushima nuclear incident in March 2011, when the Fukushima Daiichi plant north of Tokyo was hit by an earthquake and tsunami, triggering the world’s worst nuclear incident since Chernobyl.
Despite the risks, Hiroaki said that Tokyo is determined to develop a nuclear bomb. As Japan is not allowed to legally import weapons-grade plutonium, he says it is able to extract the plutonium it needs from the nuclear waste from the country’s power plants.
US analysts estimate that Japan currently has enough plutonium to build at least 1,000 nuclear bombs. Under its constitution Japan is not allowed to own any weapon with offensive capabilities including the nuclear bomb. However, a growing number of Japanese politicians have begun to call for the abolition of the nation’s Three Non-Nuclear Principles as tension between Japan and China over the disputed East China Sea escalates.
The Three Non-Nuclear Principles were outlined by former Japanese prime minister Eisaku Sato in a speech to the House of Representatives in 1967. Under the principles, Japan shall neither possess nor manufacture nuclear weapons, nor shall it permit their introduction into Japanese territory.
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