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Senior Japanese lawmakers eye 'nuclear sharing' option with U.S.

Ruling party members weigh workarounds for pledge not to use atomic weapons

Two U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bombers fly overhead at the Royal Air Force Fairford air station in the U.K. in 2020. The planes can carry nuclear cruise missiles. (Handout photo from the U.S. Air Force)   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Calls are growing within Japan's ruling party to discuss a nuclear-sharing arrangement with the U.S., a contentious issue for a country that has vowed not to maintain or introduce nuclear weapons.

The topic has come into the spotlight as Russian President Vladimir Putin has called attention to Moscow's nuclear arsenal amid his invasion of Ukraine. Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a heavyweight in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said in late February that Tokyo should "not consider it taboo to have an open discussion" of the issue.

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