Assessing Japan's Nuclear Allergy: Domestic Constraints and International Drivers

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Griffiths, Martin
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Dr. Melissa Curley

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2008
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University of Queensland

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This paper examines the relative weight of domestic and international determinants of Japan's non-nuclear status in international relations. Japan is an anomaly. It is the only great power that does not possess nuclear weapons, and which has explicitly forsworn their possession for the foreseeable future. What is the best explanation for Japan's 'nuclear allergy'? This paper argues that notwithstanding the continuing unpopularity of nuclear weapons among the Japanese people, a close examination of the historical record suggests that domestic animosity toward nuclear weapons is less important than the international environment in determining Japan's non-nuclear status. In light of this argument, the paper assesses how changes in that environment may impact on Japan's status over the coming years.

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Online Conference Publications for OCIS 2008

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