Japan highly appreciates the new US Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) and intends to strengthen the deterrence capability of the Tokyo-Washington alliance, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said in a statement on Saturday.

“Japan highly appreciates the latest NPR which clearly articulates the U.S. resolve to ensure the effectiveness of its deterrence and its commitment to providing extended deterrence to its allies including Japan, in light of the international security environment which has been rapidly worsened since the release of the previous 2010 NPR, in particular, by continued development of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs,” the statement said.

According to Kono, Japan shares with the United States the same recognition of “such severe current security environment.”

“Japan will strengthen the deterrence of the Japan-U.S. Alliance by closely consulting on the extended deterrence, including nuclear deterrence, through the Japan-US Extended Deterrence Dialogue and other consultations,” the minister added.

Kono also noted Japan’s readiness to closely cooperate with the United States in efforts toward the total elimination of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and the strengthening of the non-proliferation regime.

The US Defense Department unveiled on Friday the new NPR, which, in particular, paid much attention to the development of Russia’s nuclear potential. North Korea, Iran and China were named among other potential threats to the US national security.

According to the NPR, the US efforts would be aimed at developing nuclear warheads of low power. In addition, the doctrine states that the United States will continue spending money on modernizing nuclear forces and developing elements of the “nuclear triad” — intercontinental missiles, strategic submarines and bombers. According to the NPR, Washington generally supports the reduction of nuclear weapons, however criticizes the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) proposed in the United Nations, since it does not correspond to the current agenda.

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