Japan Times reports on the visit to Japan by John Hamre and several of his statements on the nuclear phase-out the Japanese government has decided. Thanks to this tweet by Kevin Meyerson for the link.
John Hamre is a former Deputy Secretary of Defense (in the Clinton Administration) and now the chairman of the “Center for Strategic and International Studies“.
He had this to say (from the Japan Times article):
If Japan is to give up nuclear energy — and if nuclear power is to wither in the U.S. due to competition with cheap natural gas and in Europe as in the case of Germany — “the countries that have given us the security system are going to diminish, and who’s going to replace them?” he said. “Americans cannot afford from a security standpoint to have Japan abandon nuclear power. It’s too important to us.
I am not sure how this is supposed to help support for nuclear power in Japan. Basically, he is asserting the right of the Americans to decide on whether Japan will keep nuclear or not.
Actually, under basic values of democracy, it’s none of America’s business in what direction this decision goes.
Again, the occupation ended in 1952.
So, if anything, asserting that the Japanese government needs to ask Obama (or possibly Romney) for permission before they decide on their energy strategy can only lead to strengthening opposition to nuclear power in Japan.