Charles Krauthammer is for the U.S. encouraging Japan to take a bold and powerful step by getting into the nuclear ring. The message would pack more punch than either Obama’s disarmament talk, disgruntling Krauthammer:
He certainly has a vision. Rather than relying on America’s unique technological edge in missile defenses to provide a measure of nuclear safety, Obama will instead boldly deploy the force of example. How? By committing his country to disarmament gestures — such as, he promised his cheering acolytes in Prague, ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban.
It would be more of a message than the one Obama’s sends with spending cuts in our defense budget and weakening our defense capabilities or the UN’s laughable assault with more empty words and inaction. Krauthammer’s beat this drum before :
The immediate effect of Japan’s considering going nuclear would be to concentrate China’s mind on denuclearizing North Korea. China calculates that North Korea is a convenient buffer between it and a dynamic, capitalist South Korea bolstered by American troops. China is quite content with a client regime that is a thorn in our side, keeping us tied down while it pursues its ambitions in the rest of Asia. Pyongyang’s nukes, after all, are pointed not west but east.
Japan’s threatening to go nuclear would alter that calculation. It might even persuade China to squeeze Kim Jong Il as a way to prevent Japan from going nuclear. The Japan card remains the only one that carries even the remote possibility of reversing North Korea’s nuclear program.
Japan’s response to the North Korean threat has been very strong and very insistent on serious sanctions. This is, of course, out of self-interest, not altruism. But that is the point. Japan’s natural interests parallel America’s in the Pacific Rim — maintaining military and political stability, peacefully containing an inexorably expanding China, opposing the gangster regime in Pyongyang, and spreading the liberal democratic model throughout Asia.
Why are we so intent on denying this stable, reliable, democratic ally the means to help us shoulder the burden in a world where so many other allies — the inveterately appeasing South Koreans most notoriously — insist on the free ride?
Hot Air questions using logic on the illogical while seeing the logic this way:
Why would Japan want its own arsenal when it already enjoys the deterrent effect of being under America’s nuclear umbrella? Simple: A Japanese arsenal wouldn’t really be aimed at deterrence. It would be aimed at scaring the hell out of China, where memories of Japanese aggression are long. The thinking, I guess, is that China would be sufficiently cowed by Japanese nukes that they’d have no choice but to try much harder to calm Kim down lest they end up being drawn into a three-way nuclear war with North Korea and Japan.