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Kishida cautious about Japan acquiring nuclear-powered submarine

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The Chinese, Indians, and Russians have shown their cards. Japan needs Trident or its successor.

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

@Bungle.

Totally agree,but since Japan keeps playing their 'only nation to have been atomic bombed' card.it is a bit awkward.

Bit like having your cake and eating it........me thinks.

-2 ( +13 / -15 )

Natsuo Yamaguchi, head of the LDP's junior coalition partner Komeito, echoed Kishida's view, calling the idea of a nuclear-powered submarine "unrealistic."

There is at least someone with a realistic mindset within the corrupt LDP-Komeito.

-6 ( +11 / -17 )

The subs would be nuclear powered - not nuclear armed. Japan renounces all nuclear arms.

In the face of increasing militarism and warlike behaviour from horrible neighbors Communist China and fascist Russia, these subs would absolutely add to Japan's defense capabilities.

Start the development.

12 ( +21 / -9 )

"We will see what needs to be prioritized to safeguard the people's lives and their livelihoods," he said.

In that case the LDP will continue to prioritize nuclear submarines, subsidies to oil wholesalers, Olympic money pits, , GoTo travel bailouts, Quantitative Easing easy money for financials , global virtue signaling military peripherals and cash to Ukraine.....before the livelihoods of the Japanese people.

Didn't even take into account the LDP politcos own graft, kickbacks and bloated salaries.

The peoples lives could not be farther down on the list.

-7 ( +11 / -18 )

Kazuo Shii, head of the Japanese Communist Party, urged the government to halve the consumption tax rate to 5 percent and take measures to raise wages.

Leave it to the J.Coms o be the only voice of reality.

-5 ( +15 / -20 )

Of course Japan should get these subs and then arm itself with as many nukes as possible. That is the only way to be safe

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

I understand that PM Kishida, a native of Hiroshima, is sensitive to nuclear issues, but as someone wrote above, we are talking about nuclear powered subs, not nuclear weapons. Keep a clear mind.

The Pacific Ocean is vast. Nuclear powered subs go farther and quieter.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

The Chinese, Indians, and Russians have shown their cards.

Japan does not face any threat from India.

Having said that, Japan should look at rearming herself and also becoming a nuclear power because it has lovely neighbours and can not keep depending on the Americans forever.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

@dagon

In that case the LDP will continue to prioritize nuclear submarines, …

In your haste to say something negative about the LDP it’s clear you didn’t even read the article, or at least not carefully enough to understand.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

In your haste to say something negative about the LDP it’s clear you didn’t even read the article, or at least not carefully enough to understand.

Well unlike you, the LDP's junior partners in crime felt that the floating of the idea was enough to warrant a negative response.

Natsuo Yamaguchi, head of the LDP's junior coalition partner Komeito, echoed Kishida's view, calling the idea of a nuclear-powered submarine "unrealistic."

Their modus operandi is is say they are considering, meeting about, eyeing something then later announcing it as fait accompli.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

Japan as it stands has no real need of Nuclear propulsion for its submarines. If Japan is planning on making reciprocal alliances for defense with other nations, then it would extend their operational range to allow defending allied nations in the event of conflict.

So it depends on weather Japan has plans of modifying article 9 to allow it to defend India or US or Australia as part of a QUAD military pact in the future, or Taiwan.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Way to go! Long overdue defense items. China has nukes since the 60s and knows a lot about production and testing. Its nuke subs are well known. Japan needs long-distance, long-submersible boats to cover the vast west Pacific, the Malacca Strait and the Indian ocean. It must not lose out to China and Russia in a replay of the wars 100+ years ago.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

It is debatable whether the advantages of nuclear powered attack subs have is that great in Japans situation when balanced against the much greater cost of build an d running. Australia needs to project its submarine defence forward a long way to protect the country from China, which is why they made the change. Japan is much closer, to its potential attackers, the only advantage nuclear powered subs would have is their ability to stay submerged for so long, so the cost benefit equation is nowhere as clear in this case.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The purchase of nuclear subs, etc., has already been decided. When Kishida says he's "cautious," he's wondering how to PR it.

It's all about the money, folks, there's nothing more than that!

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

While there are benefits to the use of modern technology . . . be careful of the disposal of nuclear waste.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It's about nuclear powered subs, not nuclear armed subs. Please make the difference in understanding.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

communist China and fascist Russia

Let's not forget psychotic North Korea.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Japan "should have an advanced type (of submarine) to increase deterrence," Matsui said

Even if they’re not nuclear armed they deter? How much of a deterrence?

nuclear armed subs would be more of a deterrence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh, OK, then back to early WWII diesel boats? Dumb & /or Dumber!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

North Korea has more submarine than Japan, Russia and submarine do not mix,the US has a terrible record too of submarine accident Google Submarine By Country Google Submarine Accident By Countries

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Prioritize people's livelihood

What ?....!

By purchasing a nuclear submarine and using the Ukraine crisis and China's unification of Taiwan as an excuse ?

Japan definitely has remote island territorial issues but however no country is actually threatening Japan.

The hosting of US forces by Japan is already a slippery slope for Japan's neighbors.

Kishida isn't sure if purchasing a nuclear submarine is a good idea but will do it anyway.

As usual all this military spending is to benefit the Japanese people - what a load of BS !

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@Fighto

Horrible neighbors

Are you even aware what Japans military has done in the past to it's neighbors and beyond ?

Japan has its own stockpile of chemical and biological weapons and hosts the USA military which has nuclear weapons .

Japan wants its own nuclear arsenal and preemptive strike capabilities - so to keep blathering about article 9 and Japan's anti nuclear and war renouncing policy is completely redundant !

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Fightoo,it did help Japanese during World War 2 ,they sunk the Indianapolis Google Indianapolis Sunk

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Japan is already considering adopting long-range, land-based cruise missiles and for its current generation of subs. Nuclear-powered subs aren’t really needed. Japan doesn’t need long-range subs. US has plenty of subs in the Pacific fleet.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The biggest obstacle to having nuclear submarines is obtaining US consent, not necessarily money or technology.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The possession of nuclear powered submarines and a nuclear deterrent system (such as Trident) might not be popular to a lot of people. However, as we've seen this year, being a nuclear armed nation does make other nations think twice about attacking you.

And Japan would be wise to consider striking a deal for nuclear powered submarines, like the Australians have, with the US and the UK.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And Japan would be wise to consider striking a deal for nuclear powered submarines, like the Australians have, with the US and the UK.

Unless Japan is willing to defend the US and UK as Australia is, then that avenue would not be open.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No submarines needed.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

It’s okay to have dozens of huge reactors generating electricity in cities but not a tiny one running a submarine? It is much cheaper than diesel in the long run. Especially with diesel at $6 a gallon. This is why politicians should not be making military decisions. EVER. The maoists are far more dangerous. They aren’t expanding their military to not use it. When they feel strong they will attack.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Oh, OK, then back to early WWII diesel boats? Dumb & /or Dumber!

That is what Japan operates now, diesel electric subs. They are vastly better than their WWII predecessors but they still use diesel electric propulsion although a few of the most recent Japanese boats supplement this with an air independent propulsion system that allows batteries to be recharged slowly and for the sub to proceed underwater at very slow speeds without depleting the batteries.

But take heart, Japan has advanced the art of diesel electric subs to the point where when I was on active duty we universally considered a Japanese sub the next best thing to a US Navy nuclear attack sub. They are that good. The crews were universally outstanding.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It’s okay to have dozens of huge reactors generating electricity in cities but not a tiny one running a submarine? It is much cheaper than diesel in the long run. 

Civil reactors use low enriched uranium. They consume this quickly and require the plant to be shut down regularly to replace spent fuel rods. The spent rods have to be stored for years in pools of water that absorb the heat of decaying uranium.

Nuclear subs use high enriched, basically bomb grade, uranium in their reactors. This is done to allow the core, those fuel rods, to last the life of the sub. It is very costly and time consuming to cut holes in the kinds of super high strength 100,000 psi steels of modern US and British nuclear submarine hulls to remove and replace a reactor core, then weld the hole shut while retaining the original strength of the material so diving depth is not reduced. There are arms control and proliferation considerations to deal with if Japan begins to use bomb grade uranium for submarine reactors, not to mention the security required to protect the material.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

From a practical standpoint, Japan is better served in my opinion perfecting her already outstanding diesel electric submarines. Japanese subs do not need to make a high speed submerged transit across the Pacific to reach their operating areas like US or Australian subs would. For Japanese subs the action is right off their coasts. For them, they can sneak out silently using the advanced air independent propulsion systems being installed in their newest subs, though even snorkeling on diesel their subs are a lot quieter than the other guys. About all they lack is the ability to chase down high speed surface forces in blue water over long distances. But operated in and around the First Island Chain this isn't as necessary as those islands offer plenty of opportunities for a Japanese skipper to spring an ambush on a Chinese or Russian surface force. Japanese subs would not have to travel far to reach these ambush sites and can probably do so silently on AIP, then hang out near the bottom (making them very hard to detect) waiting for the right opportunity. Japan can afford more subs if they are not nuclear powered and for Japanese conditions this is probably a better choice in terms of maximizing war fighting capability for a given budget.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Nuclear powered subs are not nuclear strike capable subs. For propulsion, they have small nuclear reactors, just like six Japanese universities do. It is not a big deal. Just don't lash it up like the Aussies did, losing half a billion A$ of taxpayer's money to soothe the ego of Macron. Whether they need nuclear powered subs depends upon what they are planning to do with them.

quote: wealth distribution.

He took $40bn of annual wealth from the Japanese tourist sector and handed it to the tourist industries of other nations. That's epic wealth distribution.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Proponents for nuclear-powered submarines say they are advantageous over conventional submarines in that they can be submerged for months "for enhanced surveillance and reconnaissance operations."

Boy, do they acquire nuclear-powered submarines for such purposes only? The next step will certainly be to turn Izumo-class helicopter destroyers to nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. Thus, Japan will build up nuclear arms bid by bid despite the war-renouncing constitution.

Politicians should know that the most effective deterrence is not arms buildup but sincerity in diplomacy.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Nuclear subs, yeah. Great news for the rogue state of the USA who will be selling Japan these multi- trillion Yen toys.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Keeping a weakened Japan is Great Business for Washington, Wall Street and of course for American Weapons Makers.

Well, having nuclear weapons is the basic requirement but china has other means of domination... I'm not authorized to write here... but anyone with common sense knows very well what are these other means china uses to dominate another country...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As long as Japan has no deterence to the Chinese, Russians or anybody for that matter, it will be held hostage to heavy foreign pressures. For example the very second they say they have nuclear offensive capabilties, it is a fact that the pressures for foreign powers will be cut in half. The only nations attacked are nations that have no threat to the invading forces, what so ever and that's a fact that can be seen clearly all over the globe.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Nuclear powered subs are not nuclear strike capable subs. For propulsion, they have small nuclear reactors, just like six Japanese universities do. It is not a big deal. 

Some big Soviet era submarines had two reactors but the vast majority of nuclear powered submarines and certainly all western designs use a single reactor. These are nothing even remotely like the low powered reactors at universities that run on very low enriched uranium. Submarine reactors use uranium enriched to weapons grade and must be handled with the utmost care. The reactors run at very high power and because the uranium is weapons grade it requires considerable security.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

voiceofokinawa

Politicians should know that the most effective deterrence is not arms buildup but sincerity in diplomacy.

If only the CCP knew that and operated under that philosophy. When your enemies build up weapons, you have no choice other than to defend against aggression that follows.

Japan must maintain defense growth for as long as her potential enemies increase military forces. When the imbalance is big enough you can lose a conflict in fairly short order without help.

I begin to believe the only viable deterrent to invasion is a small nuclear capacity. Too often those with nuclear weapons feel free to attack or invade those unable to defend themselves, and they do so with relative impunity. Only the threat of nuclear retaliation makes strong nations take pause.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Not needed. The US has enough in the vicinity to do the job.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Peter14,

Japan has the well-known war-renouncing constitution, Article 9 of which states:

 (1) Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.

(2) In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be sustained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.

 

If Japan had acted sincerely according as the Constitution stipulated, the neighboring countries would never have snarled at her. But Japan has the U.S. maintain many a forward base on its soil which is capable of attacking enemies even with nuclear arsenals. In other words, the neighboring countries know that Japan's war-renouncing constitution is only for appearance's sake and is not the real McCoy.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Samit BasuJune 19  11:10 pm JST

The biggest obstacle to having nuclear submarines is obtaining US consent, not necessarily money or technology.

Complete nonsense. We are talking about nuclear propulsion systems, not nucler weapons. Japanese companies have been and continue to be actively producung plants and parts for the U.S. nuclear power industry.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan really knows how to utilize nuclear power ?

Remember what happened to Hisashi Ouchi at the Tokaimura nuclear plant in 1991 ?

To continue to assume that Japan is responsible enough to deal with anything nuclear is preposterous !

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The biggest obstacle to having nuclear submarines is obtaining US consent, not necessarily money or technology.

Complete nonsense. We are talking about nuclear propulsion systems, not nucler weapons.

The fuel used in the reactors of nuclear submarines is high enriched weapons grade uranium. Arms proliferation treaties would normally prohibit the US or UK from transferring such material to Japan. The US and UK are violating the spirit if not the letter of the Non-Proliferation Treaty by transferring nuclear submarine technology and the high enriched uranium fuels to Australia, just as France is by helping Brazil develop their first class of nuclear submarines. It would indeed require US and UK to grant Japan permission to use their nuclear propulsion technology and even then it would be stretching the NPT that much further. Japan could enrich its own fuel, but that too would be a violation of the NPT.

IMHO Japan is so close to where any action would be that it is better for Japan to be able to operate more of the less expensive diesel electric subs it builds now than operate a lesser number of nuclear powered boats.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I always wonder if nuclear-powered submarines aren't vulnerable at all to attacks of any kind at all. Of course, chances for them to meet such fates may be way smaller than conventional subs. But what would be the consequence if they were actually attacked?

The same question can be asked of nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Likewise, will the build-up of military hardware be an answer to China's assertiveness in the South-China as well as East-China Seas? Is Japan prepared for any kind of cyber attacks at all?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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