Japan considered developing its own nuclear weapons programme in the 1950s, according to newly declassified US documents, but apparently dropped the plan when the government realised it would meet strong opposition so soon after the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Douglas MacArthur, the US ambassador to Tokyo, told visiting officials from the state and defence departments in 1958 that the Japanese prime minister had stated it was "essential" that Japan had its own nuclear weapons.
Nobusuke Kishi said Japan required a "defensive" nuclear capability to protect the nation from the Soviet Union as the Cold War raged.Mr Kishi also reportedly argued the constitution "did not prohibit Japan from having any kind of weapons". Japan did not formally adopt its three non-nuclear principles of not possessing or manufacturing atomic weapons, as well as not permitting their introduction into Japanese territory, until the 1960s, but Mr Kishi's proposal is still surprising given the country's experiences in the final days of World War II.
An estimated 80,000 people died in the initial blast of the "Little Boy" bomb above Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, with a similar number dying in the following four months as a result of the blast or the radiation. Some 80,000 people died after the "Fat Man" weapon was dropped on Nagasaki three days later.
Thirteen years later, Gen MacArthur expressed his support for Japan deploying nuclear weapons, according to the documents held at the US National Archives in Washington and found by Takashi Shinobu, a professor of international politics at Nihon University.
Gen MacArthur said Tokyo's recognition of "the desirability of defensive nuclear weapons is extremely interesting and encouraging," Kyodo News reported.
Hisanari Yamada, Japan's vice foreign minister in June 1958, told Gen MacArthur that the ministry had already discussed the possibility of having defensive nuclear weapons.
He said there was a growing sense within the ministry that it did "not make too much sense for Japanese not to have modern defensive weapons, including nuclear weapons, when the only potential aggressors were armed with nuclear weapons".
The system that was under consideration was a surface-to-air missile fitted with a nuclear warhead as a deterrence against intrusions by Soviet aircraft into Japanese air space.
The US was not opposed to its military allies having nuclear weapons, although Gen MacArthur suggested in a telegram to John Foster Dulles, the secretary of state, the biggest stumbling bloc was public opinion in Japan.
Nuclear weapons "raised obvious and serious emotional and psychological problems in terms of Japanese public opinion and perhaps opinion had not evolved to the point where there could be any change in present Japanese policy," Gen MacArthur wrote.
3/24/2013Japan has never deployed its own nuclear weapons but retains close security links with the US. Those ties have been the focus of renewed discussions given China's increasing belligerence in the western Pacific and the unpredictable regime in North Korea developing nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems. Japan's post-war nuclear ambitions revealed in newly declassified documents - 3/18/2013
Via Yahoo! News, a sad example of how can ghosts can manifest in even in the most hypermodern society when there is unresolved trauma:
The tsunami that engulfed northeastern Japan two years ago has left some survivors believing they are seeing ghosts. In a society wary of admitting to mental problems, many are turning to exorcists for help.
Tales of spectral figures lined up at shops where now there is only rubble are what psychiatrists say is a reaction to fear after the March 11, 2011, disaster in which nearly 19,000 people were killed.
“The places where people say they see ghosts are largely those areas completely swept away by the tsunami,” said Keizo Hara, a psychiatrist in the city of Ishinomaki. “We think phenomena like ghost sightings are perhaps a mental projection of the terror and worries associated with those places.” Hara said post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) might only now be emerging in many people,
Many people in Japan hold on to ancient superstitions despite its ultra-modern image. Taxi drivers said they avoided the worst-hit districts for fear of picking up phantom passengers.
“There are headless ghosts, and some missing hands or legs. Others are completely cut in half,” exorcist Kansho Aizawa said. “People were killed in so many different ways during the disaster and they were left like that in limbo.”