Nation & World News

Japan To Turn Over Nuclear Stockpile To U.S. For Safe Keeping

By Scott Neuman on March 24th, 2014

Japan has agreed to hand over to the U.S. a decades-old stockpile of weapons-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium that is said to be large enough to build dozens of nuclear weapons.

The 700-pound cache, which had been maintained by Japan for research purposes, would be turned over to the U.S. for safe keeping, according to an agreement announced Monday at the G7 nuclear security summit in The Hague, Netherlands. It’s part of an Obama administration push to prevent the nuclear material from being stolen by potential terrorists.

“This is a very significant nuclear security pledge and activity,” U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz told reporters. “The material will be transferred to the United States for transformation into proliferation-resistant forms.”

Yosuke Isozaki, a senior national security adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said through an interpreter that “Japan shares a vision of a world without nuclear weapons.”

The New York Times reports:

“The Japanese agreement to transfer the material has both practical and political significance. For years these stores of weapons-grade material were not a secret, but they were lightly guarded at best; a reporter for The New York Times who visited the main storage site at Tokaimura in the early 1990s found unarmed guards and a site less-well protected than many banks. While security has improved, the stores have long been considered vulnerable.

“Iran has cited Japan’s large stockpiles of bomb-ready material as evidence of a double standard about which nations can be trusted. And last month China began publicly denouncing Japan’s supply, in an apparent warning that a rightward, nationalistic turn in Japanese politics could result in the country seeking its own weapons.

“At various moments right-wing politicians in Japan have referred to the stockpile as a deterrent, suggesting that it was useful to have material so that the world knows Japan, with its advanced technological acumen, could easily fashion it into weapons.”

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Buffalo Blizzard Brings Odd NFL Game: Free, And Far From Home

Monday night’s game between the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets is being played in Michigan, and tickets are being given away at no charge. Some Bills players began their trips on snowmobiles.


The 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, happened without an intelligence failure, a House panel concludes. A photo from 2013 shows wreckage outside the main gate of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

House Panel Finds ‘No Intelligence Failure’ Before Benghazi Attack

The final report by the House Intelligence Committee concludes the CIA “ensured sufficient security for CIA facilities in Benghazi and … bravely assisted the State Department” on Sept. 11, 2012.


In Britain, a new bus running between Bath and the Bristol airport uses biomethane for power. The gas is derived from human sewage and food waste.

Poo Power: New British Bus Runs On Human Waste

Touting the use of renewable energy, the Bath Bus Company says the Bio-Bus runs cleaner than a bus powered by a traditional diesel engine.


People walk along the beach in Tijuana, Mexico, near San Diego, where metal bars marking the border with the U.S. meet the sea.

A Closer Look At Obama’s Immigration Plan: What’s In It, Who’s Affected

The actions announced Thursday are complicated and will lead to many changes in immigration policy. Here we try to explain it plainly.


Daniel Handler — aka Lemony Snicket — apologized Thursday for his "ill-conceived attempts at humor" during the National Book Awards ceremony Wednesday.

Book News: Daniel Handler Apologizes For Jokes At National Book Awards

Handler, better known as Lemony Snicket, hosted Wednesday’s ceremony — and made a few racially charged jokes while doing so. He apologized after a backlash Thursday. Also: A Beach Boy plans a memoir.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments