A senior member of Japan's governing Liberal Democratic Party has called for debate on US troops' bringing nuclear weapons into Japan.
Former LDP secretary general Shigeru Ishiba was speaking on TV Asahi on Wednesday.
Ishiba asked if Japan should stick to its 3 principles of not having, making or importing nuclear arms. He also questioned whether the country should avoid debate on the matter, in light of North Korea's 6th nuclear test.
Ishiba asked if Japan should ban nuclear arms while requesting protection under the US nuclear umbrella.
He called for thorough discussion of whether the ban might be compromising deterrence, adding that he understands public dislike for the idea.
But Ishiba stressed opposition to Japan's becoming a nuclear power. He said if the only country to have suffered a nuclear attack gets nuclear arms, any country can.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a news conference on Wednesday that Japan's government upholds the 3 non-nuclear principles, and that it has no plans for debate on the matter.