The Houston Chronicle has an excellent article discussing the merits of Japan becoming a nuclear power. The author writes:
As the only country ever to suffer nuclear attack, Japan obviously has its own reasons to resist the very thought. But now that the lunatic regime next door, which has already overflown Japan with its missiles, has officially gone nuclear, some rethinking is warranted.I believe the author is right in that, if anyone could be a responsible possessor of nuclear weapons it would be Japan.
Japan is a true anomaly. All the other Great Powers went nuclear decades ago — even the once-and-no-longer great, like France; the wannabe great, like India; and the never-will-be great, like North Korea. There are nukes in the hands of Pakistan, which overnight could turn into an al-Qaida state, and North Korea, a country so cosmically deranged that it reports that the "Dear Leader" shot five holes-in-one in his first time playing golf and also wrote six operas. Yet we are plagued by doubts about Japan joining this club.
There is another paradigm which he has not entertained - that no one is a responsible potential wielder of nuclear weapons. Maybe today's government will be level-headed in a crisis but what about the next. And the next. Human beings have proven themselves unreliable as far as rationality, even sanity is concerned. That's how the world wars began. I am certain another world war is possible. I am certain the use of nuclear weapons is possible. The only solution is de-nuclearization. What does this mean for North Korea? For once I think the US Foreign Policy analysts have got it right. The threat of retaliation from the US will be enough for now while the world continues to pursue a diplomatic, and not a military, solution.