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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 14:54 03/09/2007
News Review #329: January 12, 2006

Japan Condemns Iran Resumption of Nuclear Research

Reviewed by Hitoshi URABE

Japan Condemns Iran Resumption of Nuclear Research


Iran removed the UN seals from its nuclear facilities and resumed research activities, so they say. But many fear it could lead to development of nuclear weapons. The action invoked criticism by the international community, notably the E.U., the U.S., and Japan.

The article introduced above reports Japan has expressed its discomfort toward Iran's resumption of nuclear development. To that extent, the article is just one among thousands. But this one was handled by an Iranian media, and there is a subtle nuance of disappointment on Iran's part toward Japan's denunciation.

The article points out that Japan is almost entirely dependent on imported energy to fuel its massive economy, and goes on to say that (Japan) has forged close commercial links with Iran despite concern by Tokyo's main ally, the United States.

It is true Japan has always been in need of energy resources since its Restoration more than a hundred years ago. In fact, crave for energy was a major factor in dragging Japan into that dreadful war which, by inviting the disastrous defeat, reshaped the nation. Japan learned it the hard way that the best means to secure the necessities, be it energy or otherwise, is to maintain good relationship with others. Indeed, Iran was a country Japan had considerably good relationship with, in many ways such as personal exchange, financial investment, and resource development. Iran was one of the earliest (in 1974) and very few in the region, with which Japan concluded a visa waiver agreement. Although this agreement was suspended in 1992 due to an unfortunate incident, the impression of the remote nation in the Middle East remain generally favorable among the Japanese people.

The reporter of the article might have been aware of the historical relationship between the countries, which resulted in the disappointing tone as Japan made a comment of disapproval on Iran's reopening of the nuclear development. But there is one vital element perhaps the reporter has overlooked. It is the sentiment of the people of Japan toward nuclear weapons. Japan is the only country with the experience of being attacked by a nuclear weapon - in fact two, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing hundreds of thousands of mostly weak civilians - elderly, mothers, and children.

Even Japan often has other ideas than those of the U.S., arguably the closest ally. Thus it is understandable for Iran to feel uneasy toward following the lead of the U.S. in affairs which may seem domestic. But a nuclear game is something Japanese people would never approve anyone to play.

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