Author Topic: US presses Japan to hand back 300 kg of plutonium  (Read 456 times)

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Offline flowers

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US presses Japan to hand back 300 kg of plutonium
« on: January 27, 2014, 12:27:20 PM »
http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/us-presses-japan-to-hand-back-300-kg-of-plutonium-114012700058_1.html

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Japan's key ally the US has been pressing the country to return more than 300 kg of mostly weapon-grade plutonium that it exported to Japan for research purposes during the Cold War era, media reported.

The plutonium that is stored at a fast critical assembly in Tokaimura in Japan's Ibaraki prefecture could be used to produce 40-50 nuclear weapons, reported Japan's Kyodo News, citing unnamed Japanese and US government officials, according to Xinhua.

Japan has strongly resisted the demand raised by US President Barack Obama's administration, but it finally gave in to repeated demands, Kyodo said.

The two countries since last year have been seriously discussing the issue as the US plans to reach an accord with Japan at the third nuclear security summit in March in the Netherlands, according to the report.


What is he going to do with it? Give it to Iran? 


Offline EC

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Re: US presses Japan to hand back 300 kg of plutonium
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2014, 12:38:08 PM »
Sneakier than that.

The Japanese have, in the face of the increasing tensions with China, been quietly ramping up their defense forces. This makes the US role in the region less important, as Japan takes on more responsibility.

You got the material to make 50 nukes and a successful and well established missile program, the temptation is going to be there to combine the two against two nuclear armed neighbors.
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Offline flowers

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Re: US presses Japan to hand back 300 kg of plutonium
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2014, 01:40:11 PM »
Sneakier than that.

The Japanese have, in the face of the increasing tensions with China, been quietly ramping up their defense forces. This makes the US role in the region less important, as Japan takes on more responsibility.

You got the material to make 50 nukes and a successful and well established missile program, the temptation is going to be there to combine the two against two nuclear armed neighbors.
I don't have a problem yet with Japan doing all that. They know China will be violent towards them at some point. They must also know that US administration isn't a friend anymore either.


Offline EC

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Re: US presses Japan to hand back 300 kg of plutonium
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2014, 01:55:18 PM »
I don't consider a nuclear armed Japan to be much of a problem. Let's face it - we mess around with them, but the Japanese know soul deep exactly what even a small nuke does. They are still traumatized about it - rightly so.

If they need them, they need them. They have had the tech capacity to make them for years, and only their insistence on sticking to the peace treaty has prevented them from producing them.

However, Obama's "pivot to the East" means the US needs to keep it's hand in that cookie jar. If your major allies in the region can look after themselves, US influence is very much diminished.
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Offline Chieftain

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Re: US presses Japan to hand back 300 kg of plutonium
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2014, 03:14:42 PM »
I don't consider a nuclear armed Japan to be much of a problem. Let's face it - we mess around with them, but the Japanese know soul deep exactly what even a small nuke does. They are still traumatized about it - rightly so.

If they need them, they need them. They have had the tech capacity to make them for years, and only their insistence on sticking to the peace treaty has prevented them from producing them.

However, Obama's "pivot to the East" means the US needs to keep it's hand in that cookie jar. If your major allies in the region can look after themselves, US influence is very much diminished.

I always believed it would take a great deal to drive Japan to nuclear arms; at one point the idea of a nuclear powered vessel entering Japanese waters was unthinkable.  The ongoing Fukashima Daiichi disaster is not going to help one bit either.  But the Communist Chinese are on the move in some very big ways, including their advanced missile technology, procurement of an aircraft carrier and a new commitment to build a second one, coupled with some very aggressive moves in and around the South China Sea; and those moves make the Japanese more nervous than having a few nukes in their arsenal does.

I would also point out that the reason the PLAN is being so aggressive is because of the strategic withdrawal of the US from the Pacific theater as well.  The presence of the US Navy is what kept the Chinee in check just like it did in the Med, and since Obama has been in office we have done nothing but retreat on all fronts.


Offline EC

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Re: US presses Japan to hand back 300 kg of plutonium
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2014, 03:23:37 PM »
Even 10 years ago, I'd have scoffed "Impossible" and moved on to the next story.

Now - not so much. Might be partly that most of the generation that remembers the horror is now gone. Might be fear of an increasingly aggressive China and it's pet puppy, North Korea. Might be a resurgence of national pride - the Japanese are big on pride and face, as you well know. Might be a fundamental mistrust of their supposed ally, the USA.

Probably a combination of all of them.

I don't know, my only real (as in trusted) info comes from an E-9 son of a friend of mine who is stationed on the Shiloh and a Polish guy who lives in Japan.
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Offline flowers

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Re: US presses Japan to hand back 300 kg of plutonium
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2014, 04:14:42 PM »
Quote
Probably a combination of all of them.
Yep!


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Re: US presses Japan to hand back 300 kg of plutonium
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2014, 08:31:56 PM »
I don't consider a nuclear armed Japan to be much of a problem. Let's face it - we mess around with them, but the Japanese know soul deep exactly what even a small nuke does. They are still traumatized about it - rightly so.

If they need them, they need them. They have had the tech capacity to make them for years, and only their insistence on sticking to the peace treaty has prevented them from producing them.


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