Testing the nuclear will of Japan
Backer, David A.
Moltz, James C.
Olsen, Edward A.
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Increasing instability in the Northeast Asian region, decreasing faith in the U.S.-Japan security alliance, and the growing Chinese presence in the Northeast Asian region have caused Japanese politicians to revisit an issue that has been discussed three times in their history. The current issue is that, based on the above factors, Japan is once again considering whether or not the advantages of becoming a nuclear power outweigh the advantages of remaining a non-nuclear state. The purpose of this thesis is to analyze Japan's previous attempts to develop a nuclear weapons program, looking at the political, economic/technological, and social factors that each time produced a non-nuclear state. The intention of the historical analysis is to provide a comprehensive understanding of how and why such critical factors led Japan to abstain from developing a nuclear weapons program. Additionally, the historical analysis will help determine the conditions that will likely drive current and future policy makers and leaders as they are faced with new incentives to develop nuclear weapons and, more importantly, suggest methods through which the United States and the international community can help ensure that Japan will continue to remain on a non-nuclear-weapons course.
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