Japan's foreign minister said Tuesday that the country should openly debate whether to develop its own nuclear deterrent following North Korea's atomic test, while stressing that the government doesn't support such a move.
Foreign Minister Taro Aso told a parliamentary committee that the Japanese government would stick to its three non-nuclear principles of not possessing, developing or allowing nuclear bombs on Japanese soil.
"As the government, there is no change to those principles," he said, stressing his adherence to the policy a week after stirring controversy by saying Japan should consider the nuclear option to counter the threat posed by Pyongyang's October 9 atomic test.
But he said the regional security environment has changed since the policy were introduced in the 1960s.
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