The move increases international tension and the risk of Japan reconsidering its position on nuclear weapons.
But it is in line with the new approach to global security adopted by the Bush administration.
President George W Bush has either withdrawn from or expressed his opposition to implementing a number of key global arms control agreements.
•the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty;
•the Biological Weapons Convention;
•the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty;
•the process of strategic arms reductions with Russia.
The treaty signed with Russia – the Sort Treaty – is a treaty without content and has no operative provisions.
At the same time as withdrawing from these treaties, the Bush administration initially withdrew from the political process with North Korea designed by former President Bill Clinton, and which had rolled back but not entirely removed North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes.
It’s cliché already to invoke 1984 when talking about these worthless turdfellaters in Washington, but it’s hard not to do so these days.
Watching CNN from a hotel at Narita airport in Japan last week, I was amused by the response to their ‘question of the day’.
‘Which country poses the greatest threat to world peace?’ they asked, and invited phone calls and emails in response. Hours afterwards, the proportion of respondants nominating ‘The United States’ was still running around 70%, they told us, falling over each other in their efforts to tell us again that this result ‘did not necessarily reflect our opinions.’
f–k you, George. Your empire is a-gonna fall.