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USA puts pressure on Japan to not attend nuclear ban treaty meeting, not even as an observer

U.S. urges Japan not to join nuclear ban treaty meeting: sources  KYODO NEWS 20 Dec 21, The United States has urged Japan not to attend as an observer the first meeting of signatories to a U.N. treaty banning nuclear weapons, according to U.S. government sources, reflecting Washington’s opposition to the pact.The Japanese government has suggested it will come into line with the United States and take a cautious approach to the issue, the sources said. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told a parliamentary committee on Thursday that Tokyo has no “concrete plans” to attend the meeting as an observer.

The sources said the U.S. administration of President Joe Biden made the request to Japan through diplomatic channels after German political parties announced Nov. 24 that the deal for the new ruling coalition included taking part as an observer at the meeting scheduled for March in Vienna.

Maybe because of the request, Kishida also suggested last week that participation in the meeting would be premature “before building a relationship of trust with President Biden.”

Germany’s move has put Japan — which has stated it aspires to a world free of nuclear weapons as the only country to have suffered the devastation of atomic bombings — in the spotlight. Both countries are key U.S. allies that rely on American nuclear forces for protection.

The U.S. government has maintained its opposition to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which entered into force in January this year, even as Biden has pledged to strive for a world without nuclear weapons………..

The U.S. government is also calling on the new three-party German government, launched in December, to give up on the idea of taking part in the March 22-24 meeting in Vienna, according to the sources.

The new U.N. treaty completely outlaws the development, testing, possession and use of nuclear weapons. It only binds states that have formally signed and ratified it.

More than 50 countries, including Austria, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Africa and Vietnam, have ratified the pact, according to the website of the U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs.

But nuclear weapon states, including the United States, Russia and China, are not signatories. Japan has also refrained from signing the pact in consideration of its long-standing security alliance with the United States.  https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2021/12/54ab486540a3-us-urges-japan-not-to-join-nuclear-ban-treaty-meeting-sources.html

December 21, 2021 - Posted by | politics international, weapons and war

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