Food for thought this evening as the NorKs fire yet another missile into the sea. Why would Japan want its own arsenal when it already enjoys the deterrent effect of being under America’s nuclear umbrella? Simple: A Japanese arsenal wouldn’t really be aimed at deterrence. It would be aimed at scaring the hell out of China, where memories of Japanese aggression are long. The thinking, I guess, is that China would be sufficiently cowed by Japanese nukes that they’d have no choice but to try much harder to calm Kim down lest they end up being drawn into a three-way nuclear war with North Korea and Japan. There’s logic to that, but is a logical analysis the best way to approach North Korea’s thinking? Japanese nukes might cause them to flip out and attack; alternatively (or additionally), it might be seen by China as such a provocation by the U.S. and its client state that they’d look to retaliate against Taiwan. At a bare minimum, Sino-American relations would deteriorate. Exit question: Nukes or no nukes? Click the image to watch.