China Alerts: Japan Has Nuclear Material Surplus
By admin On 10 Oct, 2015 At 07:38 PM | Categorized As China News, Hot News, World News | With 0 Comments

(Source: Xinhua) 2015-10-10

BEIJING, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) — No one should doubt Japan’s attitude towards nuclear weapons, having experienced a nuclear attack first hand. With the pain still fresh, after World War II, its government pledged that it would not produce, possess or introduce nuclear weapons.

1 3 - Copy 3

  Yet when it was revealed that it’s stockpiled nuclear materials (some at nuclear weapons-grade) exceeded its nuclear energy development needs, alarm bells rang.

According to a report released on Friday by nuclear non-proliferation organizations China Arms Control And Disarmament Association and China Institute of Nuclear Information and Economics, at the end of 2014, Japan owned 47.8 tones of unirradiated separated plutonium, with 10.8 tones stored domestically — enough to make 1,350 nuclear warheads.

When the United States asked Japan to return more than 300 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium last year, the world was shocked. Little did they know, it was just the tip of the iceberg.

Without doubt, every country is entitled to peaceful use of nuclear energy, more so for Japan, a country lacking fossil fuels and other natural resources.

But what is not known by many is that Japan is the only non-nuclear-weapon state capable of extracting plutonium from the spent fuel that has been irradiated in a nuclear reactor. Such a practice, also known as reprocessing, is controversial because reprocessed plutonium can be used to make nuclear weapons.

Thus, more questions have emerged — Why does Japan, a self-proclaimed pacifist nation, need so much nuclear materials? How will they keep the material from falling into the hands of terrorists? What measures are being put in place to prevent a Fukushima-like nuclear meltdown?

More importantly, what measures will Japan take to ease concerns from its regional neighbors?

Earthquakes, poor management of nuclear facilities and a history of hiding stockpiles of nuclear material are shared concerns the world over.

The international community should not take this too lightly, Japan has the potential to become a de facto nuclear-armed state, despite domestic opposition after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

Japan’s commitment to uphold anti-nuclear sentiment is also being put to the test after its parliament passed amendments to its defense laws in September, allowing the Japanese army to engage in a war even if it was not under attack.

In addition, analysts have pointed out that Japan’s nuclear material glut may even break the equilibrium in the already uneasy east Asian region, with the Republic of Korea, among others, accusing Japan of repeating its mistakes of WWII, not mentioning the ongoing nuclear program in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Japan will likely strike the match that lights the fuse if a nuclear arms race takes place.

The Japanese government may want to make itself feel safer with these nuclear materials, but the more it stores, the more difficult it is to keep them safe and assure the Japanese people and the international community.

As a China Foreign Ministry spokesperson put it: Japan needs to show its sincere and responsible attitude and respond to the world’s concerns.

About -

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>