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World of Paradox: Expansion of Nuclear Deterrence in the Era of Nuclear Disarmament


Masako Ikegami
Professor, Department of Political Science, Stockholm University/Abe Fellow (FY 2010)


Heigo Sato
Professor, Institute of World Studies, Takushoku University
Board member, Japan Association for International Security


Tomoko Okagaki
Professor, Faculty of Law, Department of International Legal Studies, Dokkyo University
Abe Fellow (FY 2007)


Thursday, February 14, 2013, from 6PM to 8PM  An informal reception follows.


International House of Japan, Seminar Room 404, West Wing 4F
5-11-16 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo Access




Admission free. Booking required.
To sign up, please phone 03-5369-6085


The nuclear doctrine of the United States, as elaborated in a variety of measures and documents including Obama’s general address in Prague in 2009, the Nuclear Posture Review of 2010 and the New START Treaty of the same year, clearly called for a reduction of the role of nuclear weapons and were seen as a concrete step towards nuclear disarmament. In East Asia, however, North Korea’s detonations of nuclear devices and launches of long range missiles in recent years made it clear that they now possess nuclear weapons. At the same time, the military expansionism of China in the Asia-Pacific region is shaking American hegemony in the region. Contemporary Japan, within range of PRC and DPRK’s ballistic and long-range cruise missiles, has seen its relations with China shaken by the Senkaku Islands problem, reflected in a rise in military tensions across Asia. In response to these problems, voices casting doubts on the effectiveness of the US nuclear umbrella and nuclear deterrence strategies are growing stronger in both Japan and South Korea. Though still a minority, some people have started to argue for nuclear sharing similar to the European NATO model, redeployment of US nuclear assets and independent development of nuclear capability to improve the reliability of nuclear deterrence. If the US were to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in its security doctrine, it might push Japan and South Korea to pursue independent development of nuclear weapons. Prof. Ikegami will examine the apparent paradox between the US deterrence doctrine and its pledge for nuclear disarmament in East Asia, a region threatened by proliferation of nuclear and conventional weapons.

Speaker Profile

Masako Ikegami: Prof. Ikegami is Professor of Political Science at the University of Stockholm in Sweden. She received her PhD in Peace and Conflict Studies from Uppsala University, Sweden in 1998 and PhD in Sociology from the University of Tokyo in 1996. She is currently conducting research as an Abe Fellow on the paradox of simultaneous global nuclear disarmament and threats of nuclear proliferation from the perspective of the US-Japan alliance. Her most recent works include: “Challenges of Rising China: A New Cold War or Neo-Imperialism?,” in Ahmed, Panda & Singh (eds). Towards a New Asian Order. Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), 2011, and" China-North Korea: Renewal of the 'Blood Alliance'," Asia Pacific Bulletin No. 158, 5 April 2012, among other publications. She writes extensively on defense policy/decision-making process, arms control & disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear deterrence.

Abe Fellowship Program
Social Science Research Council Tokyo Office
C/O Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership
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Tel: 03-5369-6085
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The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership
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