Summary: The debate within the NATO alliance on nuclearissues is increasingly seen tobe of direct relevance to Japan.In both cases, the issues being debated include the future roleof tactical U.S. nuclear weaponsand consultative mechanismswith Washington. The commonconcern is whether the United
States requires specifc weaponsystems to maintain the conf
-dence of allies. In both NATO and the U.S.-Japan alliance, expand-ing consultations to include non-nuclear elements such as mis-sile defense would strengthenexisting relations. Additionally, bysharing their understanding of nuclear issues with one another,experts in the United States andits allied countries could helpcreate a basis on which the cred-ibility of extended deterrencecan be maintained.
In considering ways to maintain —and hopeully enhance — the cred-ibility o U.S. extended deterrence overJapan, it is not surprising that Japaneseexperts have turned their attention toEurope, where the issue o extendeddeterrence has been discussed vigor-ously over the past several decades.Given that the strategic environmentso Europe and Japan are considerably dierent rom one another, there arecertainly inherent limitations to any direct comparison between the twocases. That said, the debate withinthe NATO alliance on nuclear issuesis increasingly seen to be o directrelevance to Japan’s concerns. More-over, the link is not a one-way street:Japan’s debate on nuclear weapons, notleast in the context o U.S. extendednuclear deterrence, seems relevant toEurope as well. In both directions, theissues being debated include the uturerole o tactical U.S. nuclear weaponsand consultative mechanisms withWashington.
Why the NATO Nuclear Debate Is Relevant to Japan and Vice Versa
by Michito Tsuruoka
1744 R Street NWWashington, DC 20009T 1 202 745 3950F 1 202 265 1662E email@example.com
October 8, 2010
Michito Tsuruoka is a Research Fellow at the National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS), Ministry of Defense, Japan.He served as a Special Adviser for NATO at the Embassy of Japan in Belgium from 2005 to 2008. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not represent those of the Ministry of Defense, the Government of Japan, or GMF.The author would like to thank Ronald Asmus, Ralph Cossa, Michael Keifer, Sebastian Reyn, John Simpson, Colin Stock-man, Bruno Tertrais, David Yost, and Roberto Zadra for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper.
Different Fates: The B-61 andTLAM-N
In the European theatre, what is nowgaining much attention is the utureo tactical nuclear weapons — B-61gravity bombs — deployed in selectedNATO countries. The presence o theseweapons has long been regarded as themost visible expression o U.S. resolveon extended nuclear deterrence overEurope. However, a number o analystsand politicians are now arguing thatthose weapons are useless in military terms. Critics such as German Vice-Chancellor and Foreign MinisterGuido Westerwelle have been callingincreasingly or their withdrawal,particularly ater U.S. President BarackObama announced his initiative onnuclear disarmament at his seminalspeech in Prague in April 2009.Whereas the U.S. Nuclear PostureReview Report (NPR) released in April2010 postponed a decision on theuture o the B-61 in Europe, it didannounce Washington’s decision toretire nuclear-tipped Tomahawk cruisemissiles (or TLAM-N). There havebeen some debates both in Japan andthe United States about the potential