Japanese foreign minister urges Russia to cooperate with U.S. nuclear reduction proposal

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, elected from district one in Hiroshima, spoke at a press conference on June 21 and urged Russia to cooperate with the proposal made recently by U.S. President Barack Obama for additional cuts in the number of strategic nuclear weapons in their respective arsenals. With Russia reacting unfavorably to the proposal, Mr. Kishida said, “I hope that Russia will see the larger goal of creating a world without nuclear weapons.”

The foreign minister welcomed Mr. Obama’s proposal by saying, “I have high hopes that it will help lead to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation internationally.” Regarding Russia’s reluctance, he added, “The international community is in agreement over the aim of realizing a world without nuclear weapons.”

Mr. Obama has called for further reductions in the number of deployed strategic nuclear weapons to reach a level of 1,000. Currently, in line with their nuclear disarmament treaty, the United States and Russia have agreed to reduce the number of strategic nuclear weapons to 1,550. Though Mr. Obama’s new proposal requires Russian support to move forward, Russia has offered a tepid response with Dmitry Rogozin, the Russian deputy prime minister, calling it unviable.

(Originally published on June 22, 2013)