Japan should openly discuss whether it wants to possess nuclear weapons in light of North Korea's atomic test, Foreign Minister Taro Aso said Wednesday.
Aso, however, reiterated the government's position that Tokyo had no plans to stray from its postwar policy of not possessing, developing or allowing nuclear bombs on Japanese soil.
"When a neighboring country is going to have nuclear weapons, one can refuse to even consider the matter," he told a parliamentary committee. "But I think it is important to discuss the issue."
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared last week that Japan would not change its non-nuclear policy, despite North Korea's Oct. 9 detonation of an atomic device.
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