Eliminating Nuclear Threats: A Practical Agenda for Global Policymakers, the report of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, was released on December 15th in Tokyo to the Prime Ministers of Australia and Japan, Kevin Rudd and Yukio Hatoyama, by the Commission Co-Chairs, former foreign ministers Gareth Evans and Yoriko Kawaguchi, at a ceremony at the Japanese Prime Minister’s residence.
According to the press release, the 230-page report does not suggest that nuclear weapons can be abolished soon or in the near future. It does recommend setting of a medium term ‘minimization point’ target - to be reached by 2025 - of a world with less than 2,000 nuclear warheads - a more than 90 per cent reduction of present nuclear arsenals. There are approximately 23,000 nuclear weapons now in existence.
The report was released shortly after it was revealed that the Government of Japan had lobbied the American Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States to retain for the defense of Japan submarine-based nuclear-tipped Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles or TLAM-Ns. Some analysts were not only surprised by Japan's pro-nuclear position, but wondered aloud if Tokyo understood how inaccurate and unreliable the ageing Tomahawks were.
Interestingly, the American mainstream press has not picked up on either story: the release of the Commission Report or Japanese government lobbying for retaining nuclear weapons.Reporting