One of the survivors of nuclear bombing of Hiroshima stated that "Japan should sign, and its refusal to do so broke the hearts of many survivors," and Tomihisa Taue, mayor of Nagasaki City, criticized the Abe government for opposing the NWPT during the memorial service on 9 August 2017 (Asahi Shimbun, 2017, September 22).
Why did Japan as a sole state that suffered from nuclear bombs in war vote against the resolution on the NWPT? With regard to this question, on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA), Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida explained that the Japanese government voted against the resolution on the NWPT because nuclear states opposed the resolution, and therefore, the resolution would eventually enlarge the discrepancy between nuclear and non-nuclear states.
In an attempt to provide wider and multiple perspectives on the reasons that Japan opposed the NWPT, this section seeks to employ orthodox international relations theory in combination with an approach of "analytical eclecticism." A research method, analytical eclecticism, was proposed by Peter Katzenstein in order to examine Japan's security policy.
These four theoretical perspectives will assist in examining multiple factors for which the Japanese government opposed the NWPT.
Then, why did the Japanese government oppose the NWPT?
The Japanese government opposed the NWPT because the government has sought to pursue a "realistic" approach toward nuclear elimination.
If Japan advocates the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, why was the Japanese government against the NWPT? Given the characteristics of Japan's nuclear disarmament diplomacy and resolution plans to the UNGA for nuclear abolition, it can be considered that the Japanese government has adopted the "inclusive" and incremental approach toward nuclear elimination.
Having said that, Japan's nuclear identity as a "nuclear disarmament state" is not necessarily consistent with its decision to oppose the NWPT. Hence, it is important to take realist perspectives into consideration to figure out why the Japanese government did not support the NWPT..
In terms of a classical realist perspective, it is important to take Japan's national interests into consideration in examining reasons why Japan does not support the NWPT. For a sovereign state, political independence is the most integral national interest (e.g.
Likewise, it is rational to comprehend that the Japanese government did not vote for the UNGA resolution to start negotiations for the NWPT because the resolution would be agreeable and beneficial for North Korea, which tends to ignore international disarmament and non-proliferation regime.
(23) Like the Ottawa landmine treaty and the Oslo Convention on Cluster Munitions, the NWPT resembles an instrument of humanitarian law more than a traditional arms control agreement in that its main purpose is to promote a normative shift, not regulate a specific process.
(17.) This is not to say that the nuclear-armed states are in violation of the NWPT; since they have not signed the treaty, they cannot be held to its commands.