Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

March 26, 2014

Why Japan giving up nuclear material is a good thing

Filed under: Radiological & Nuclear Threats — by Arnold Bogis on March 26, 2014

The Nuclear Security Summit recently wrapped up in the Hague.  While it was overshadowed by events in the Ukraine, there were several substantial actions reported and pledges made that move the ball forward on nuclear security.

One in particular involved Japan.  While it might seem strange that we should be celebrating Japan sending the U.S. nuclear weapon-usable material, or that we should be worried about their possession at all, Harvard professor Matthew Bunn provided a concise explanation for PBS’ Newshour:

The report Professor Bunn’s references in his interview can be found here. The main conclusions are:

Combat complacency. Developing and sharing a database of incidents with lessons learned, as well as expanded intelligence cooperation, will help those responsible for nuclear security make the case that nuclear terrorism is a real and urgent threat to their countries, worthy of a significant investment of time and money.

Improve protection for facilities and transports. Countries should ensure that all nuclear weapons and weapons-usable nuclear material under their control are at least pro­tected against a baseline threat that includes: a well-placed insider; a modest group of well-trained and well-armed outsiders, capable of operating as more than one team; and both an insider and the outsiders working together. Countries facing more capable adversaries should provide higher levels of protection.

Consolidate stockpiles of nuclear weapons and materials so that there are fewer sites in need of security investments.

Strengthen security practices “on the ground” through improved training, realistic performance testing and “force-on-force” exercises, new programs to strengthen security culture, and exchanges of “best practices” among organizations responsible for nuclear weapons, materials, and facilities.

Build a more effective global nuclear security framework to help states co­operate on establishing standards and goals for nuclear security, discussing and deciding on next steps to improve nuclear security, confirming that states are fulfilling their responsibility to provide effective security, and tracking states’ progress in fulfilling their nuclear security commitments.  In particular, the authors suggest that for the next nuclear security summit in 2016, a group of states should make a high-level commitment to high standards of nuclear security and invite other states to join them, offering help to those who would like to meet the agreed standards but need assistance in doing so.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

March 26, 2014 @ 7:43 am

Please note that all the material be relocated to the USA came from the USA!

Yes, MOM, we the USA have spread our poison through most of the world.

A NUDET, however, in any major USA city will collapse our government so right to worry Mr. President!

Comment by Christopher Tingus

March 26, 2014 @ 8:20 am

….and in thinking about Japan, the US and “nuclear security” as well as the related serious concern of the ever growing influence China will continue to have throughout the Pacific Rim, assuming any such improved relations only if China wants Japan and Korea to mend their ways and really fewer and fewer giving a damn about Washington…. the global game is on given the utter spiral in weakness conveyed by the US and it is now Russia, China and India and while with certainly Japan will become more and more another team participant aligned so, you can bet with a certain hand that the brilliant Karl-Theodor Zu Guttenberg and his eventual leadership of a busting out all over Germany….

Interestingly, it is reported that Japan and Germany still are engaged in mutual understanding and commerce as reported, however with China’s growing influence in the region, Japanese relationships towards Europe will change and “nuclear security” will continued to be undermined while this Chicago city street slicker maintains his posture and intent to diminish America’s defense arsenal in favor of further enslaving more of America’s populace to more dependence on government. We have lost our esteemed global leadership footing in the east and the west and we have guaranteed a continued nuclear arms race which will not bode well for any of us. Watch Japan and China mend their ways and Japan continue to grow its defense forces as well.

Reuters’ Thomas Escritt and Linda Sieg: “U.S. President Barack Obama brought together the leaders of Japan and South Korea for their first face-to-face talks as a North Korean ballistic missile launch underscored the need for Washington’s two key Asian allies to repair their strained ties. Washington hopes the three-way summit will improve relations between Seoul and Tokyo, which are clouded by the legacy of Japan’s 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean peninsula and Seoul’s concerns that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to rewrite Japan’s wartime past with a less apologetic tone.

“As of 2008, Japan still was Germany’s second largest trading partner in Asia after China. In 2006, German imports from Japan totaled €15.6 billion and German exports to Japan €14.2 billion (15.4% and 9% more than the previous year, respectively). In 2008, however, Japanese exports and imports to and from the European Union fell by 7.8 and 4.8% after growing by 5.8% in 2007 due to the global financial crisis. Bilateral trade between Germany and Japan also shrank in 2008, with imports from Japan having dropped by 6.6% and German exports to Japan having declined by 5.5%. Despite Japan having remained Germany’s principal trading partner in Asia after China in 2008, measured in terms of total German foreign trade, Japan’s share of both exports and imports is relatively low and falls well short of the potential between the world’s third-and fifth-largest economies.”

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