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Kagakushi Kenkyu. 2014 Jul;53(270):199-210.

[The Chinese nuclear test and 'atoms for peace' as a measure for preventing nuclear armament of Japan: the nuclear non-proliferation policy of the United States and the introduction of light water reactors into Japan, 1964-1968].

[Article in Japanese]


Japan and the United States signed in 1968 a new atomic energy agreement through which US light-water nuclear reactors, including those of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant of Tokyo Electric Power Company, were to be introduced into Japan. This paper studies the history of negotiations for the 1968 agreement using documents declassified in the 1990s in the US and Japan. After the success of the Chinese nuclear test in October 1964, the United States became seriously concerned about nuclear armament of other countries in Asia including Japan. Expecting that Japan would not have its own nuclear weapons, the US offered to help the country to demonstrate its superiority in some fields of science including peaceful nuclear energy to counter the psychological effect of the Chinese nuclear armament. Driven by his own political agenda, the newly appointed Prime Minister Eisaku Sato responded to the US expectation favorably. When he met in January 1965 with President Johnson, Sato made it clear that Japan would not pursue nuclear weapons. Although the US continued its support after this visit, it nevertheless gave priority to the control of nuclear technology in Japan through the bilateral peaceful nuclear agreement. This paper argues that the 1968 agreement implicitly meant a strategic measure to prevent Japan from going nuclear and also a tactic to persuade Japan to join the Nuclear Non -Proliferation Treaty.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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