On 7 July 2017, the “Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty” (NWPT) to ban nuclear weapons in general was adopted in the United Nations General Assembly. The Japanese government, however, voted against the NWPT while insisting on its own resolution plan to facilitate global nuclear elimination. This paper examines Japan’s nuclear identity with regard to the legal prohibition of nuclear weapons, especially the NWPT. Why did the Japanese government vote against the NWPT despite the fact that Japan is the sole state to have ever suffered nuclear bombing in war? With a view to providing multiple perspectives regarding this simple but important question, this paper applies “analytical eclecticism” in combination with international relations theory. The multiple theoretical perspectives on Japan’s policy toward nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament are instrumental in clarifying Japan’s nuclear identity and exploring its role in nuclear abolition. Finally, this paper considers alternative policy options that the Japanese government needs to take into consideration and put into practice in order to bridge a gap between nuclear and nonnuclear countries toward the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
Akimoto, Daisuke Ph.D.
"The Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty and the Paradox of Japan’s Nuclear Identity,"
Journal of International and Global Studies: Vol. 9:
2, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lindenwood.edu/jigs/vol9/iss2/4
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