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Nuclear-Armed Japan Would Be "Terrible Mistake"

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso.
by Staff Writers
Kyoto (AFP) Dec 03, 2006
Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog, warned Sunday that it would be a "terrible mistake" for Japan to develop nuclear weapons in the wake of North Korea's atomic test. "I think it would be a terrible mistake for any country now to move to nuclear arms because there is a domino effect," the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency told a seminar at Kyoto University in western Japan.

"If Japan were to go for nuclear weapons we would have to look at South Korea, Taiwan and eventually everybody in the region" also possibly acquiring atomic arms, he added.

"I always look at Japan as a torch holder for nuclear disarmament," ElBaradei said, adding that Japan's history as the only country to have been attacked with nuclear weapons meant it had a "moral responsibility".

ElBaradei added, however, that he had been assured by Japanese government officials that Tokyo had no intention of abandoning its long standing policy against nuclear weapons.

On Thursday ElBaradei met with Foreign Minister Taro Aso, who last week said Japan was able to produce nuclear weapons if it chose to do so.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ruled out even discussing building nuclear weapons, but the issue has caused concern in neighboring countries haunted by Japan's past aggression.

Japan is the only country to have suffered a nuclear attack. US nuclear bombs obliterated the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the closing days of World War II, killing more than 210,000 people.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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World Powers To Meet In Paris On Iran Nuclear Sanctions
Paris (AFP) Dec 04, 2006
Six world powers are to meet Tuesday in Paris in their latest bid to secure agreement on a package of sanctions against Iran for its refusal to suspend sensitive nuclear activities. High-ranking diplomats from the five veto-wielding UN Security Council members - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany will attend the talks Tuesday evening at the French foreign ministry.

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