Foreign Minister Taro Kono on May 15 refused to confirm arguments made by Japanese diplomats in a 2009 hearing in Washington in support of the United States maintaining its nuclear deterrence.

In February 2009, the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States heard from a number of Japanese officials, including Takeo Akiba, then a minister with the Japanese Embassy in Washington. Akiba now serves as vice foreign minister. Those diplomats all stressed the importance of having the United States maintain its nuclear deterrence.

Those comments were made a few months before U.S. President Barack Obama spoke in Prague and pledged to work toward a world without nuclear weapons.

In early May, a number of opposition party lawmakers visited the United States and met with Paul Hughes, who served as executive director of the commission.

While saying that the sessions of the commission were held behind closed doors, Hughes told the lawmakers it was up to the Japanese government "to decide if its officials can speak to members of the Diet" about what was said.

One of the lawmakers who met Hughes was Yukihisa Fujita, an Upper House member of the Democratic Party for the People.

On May 15, at a session of the Upper House Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Fujita touched upon the views expressed by Japanese diplomats to the commission that the U.S. nuclear arsenal should be maintained. Fujita asked Kono if a document existed that laid out the position made by the diplomats.

However, Kono refused to confirm if such a document existed nor did he provide other details of what was said on the grounds the commission hearings were conducted on the understanding the contents would not be divulged outside of the commission.