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Japan May Become a Nuclear Power by 2020

Posted December. 31, 2003 22:54,   


The National Intelligence Council (NIC), a center within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), predicted that Japan might possess nuclear weapons by 2020 after wrapping up its constitutional revision to strengthen the role of the self-defense forces.

It is highly unusual for a U.S. government agency to comment on Japan’s constitutional revision and its possible nuclear armament.

According to the Sankei newspaper on Wednesday, the NIC reported that the Republic of Korea will build up its military power for the national interest of unification. China will strive to modernize its military to block U.S. interference over the Taiwan Strait. It also said that the military tension in Northeast Asia would rise higher than any other region in the world.

The report forecasted that in the event the two Koreas are unified, the U.S.-Japan alliance would become loose as the perception of the security threat changes. As a result, it would be difficult to justify a U.S. presence in Northeast Asia in the name of defending South Korea.

These security changes might lead to a reunified Korea and Japan becoming nuclear powers.

With regard to China-Japan relations, the report predicted that as China continues to grow, Japan will face a tough decision: stepping forward to take the initiative in the region or taking sides with the U.S.

Hun-Joo Cho hanscho@donga.com