Will Japan go nuclear? Doubtful—but what if it does? It is possible to envi- sion circumstances that would impel Tokyo and the Japanese populace to cast aside their long-standing dread of nuclear weapons and to construct an arsenal of their own for the sake of national survival. Menacing strategic surroundings or a collapse of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty are two such circumstances. If some nightmare scenario did come to pass, the common wisdom has it, Japan could build a working bomb in short order. In 1991, Richard Halloran averred that “Japan is N minus six months,” although he saw no evidence that Japan entertained any ambition to tap its latent weapons capability.
Yoshihara, Toshi and Holmes, James R.
"Thinking about the Unthinkable,"
Naval War College Review: Vol. 62
, Article 6.
Available at: http://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-review/vol62/iss3/6