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Japan’s Response to Nuclear North Korea
Published June 8, 2012
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When scholars and commentators discuss Japan’s response to nuclear-armed North Korea, many jump to the conclusion that Japan will start thinking about arming itself with nuclear weapons while others contend that Japan will remain forever “pacifist.” This polemic tendency in the discourse on Japan’s security policy has created an unfortunate lack of understanding of Japanese policy. In fact, Tokyo has taken extensive non-nuclear military measures in order to cope with the North Korean threat while being less active in using diplomacy. This chapter sheds light on the military and diplomatic measures that Japan has taken and assesses how effective these measures are, based on the extent and the nature of the North Korean threat toward Japan.

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