The Japanese government is not planning to review its three non-nuclear principles, Foreign Minister Taro Kono said on Friday.
In response to some lawmakers holding the view that Japan should deploy U.S. nuclear weapons here as a deterrent against potential attacks, Kono told a press briefing on the matter that being under the U.S. nuclear umbrella was all the protection the nation needed.
"At this juncture, the deterrent power of the United States is working and the Japanese government has not reviewed the three non-nuclear principles so far and has no plan to discuss a review of them."
Kono's remarks came after former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba controversially intimated on a TV program on Wednesday that seeking the protection of U.S. nuclear weapons but not wanting them on Japanese soil was in some way contradictory.
"Is it really right for us to say that we will seek the protection of U.S. nuclear weapons, but we don't want them inside our country?" Ishiba, seen as a potential rival to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for the future leadership of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), quizzed.
Ishiba, in the TV program, said that he was in fact opposed to the idea of Japan possessing its own nuclear weapons.
Natsuo Yamaguchi, the leader of the LDP's junior coalition Komeito party, took aim at Ishiba's point, telling a press conference Thursday that the three principles "are a national policy and must not be changed."
Japan is the only country that has suffered atomic bombings.
The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki effectively brought an end to World War II.
Since 1967, Japan has, ostensibly, upheld the three principles of not possessing, not producing and not allowing the introduction of nuclear weapons into the country.