From Nuclear Hedging to Korea-Japan Nuclear Weapons Free Zone: Japan's Nuclear Options

  • Tianjiao Jiang
Keywords: apan, Nuclear Policy, Korea-Japan Nuclear Weapons Free Zone, Nuclear Hedging, Nuclear Breakout


This article discusses both the positive and negative effects of Japan's three nuclear strategies: nuclear hedging, nuclear breakout, and the Korea-Japan Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (KJNWFZ). Nuclear hedging has been the longest established strategy to protect Japan's national security but it will become increasingly unreliable in the coming decades. Nuclear breakout, an alternative strategy, is impractical due to its high costs. In comparison, this article argues that KJNWFZ is the ideal option for Japan's future nuclear strategy. However, in recent years, the Japanese government has maintained the status quo, despite the scale of anti-nuclear protest across the country following the Fukushima crisis. Civilian anti-nuclear does not effectively in-fluence nuclear strategy decision-making, due to a combination of national electoral politics, interests groups, the 'veto players' of the right-wing, and the broader regional security context. In conclusion, the nuclear hedging policy remains the accepted balance of interests supported by decision-makers.