During a high-profile foreign policy speech, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton repeated a series of past statements by Donald Trump to show that her Republican rival poses risks for international relations. One of these past statements by Trump involved whether Japan should become a nuclear-armed state. - From @politifact
When Trump sat for a March 26 interview with the New York Times, he was asked directly, "Would you object if (Japan) got their own nuclear arsenal, given the threat that they face from North Korea and China?" Trump responded in part, "There’ll be a point at which we’re just not going to be able to do it anymore.
Answering Cooper’s question about breaking with Japan’s non-nuclear stance, Trump said, "At some point we have to say, you know what, we're better off if Japan protects itself against this maniac in North Korea." In fact, during the town hall, Cooper gave Trump multiple opportunities to back off his suggestion that Japan may need nuclear weapons, but Trump never did.
He said, in succession, "maybe it's going to have to be time to change," "at some point we have to say, you know what, we're better off," "it's going to happen, anyway," and "wouldn't you rather in a certain sense have Japan have nuclear weapons?" After Wallace asked whether Trump wanted to see a nuclear arms race on the Korean peninsula, Trump said, "It's not like, gee whiz, nobody has them.
"The prevailing, bipartisan and fairly settled academic judgment has been that the risk of loose nukes or accidental nuclear war means that every additional nuclear weapon is a potential cataclysm waiting to happen," said Richard Nephew, a fellow with the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University.
"I'm not aware of anyone that I'd deem to be a serious policy proponent or thinker who has seriously advocated this in a while." The last major figure Nephew could think of is Kenneth Waltz, an international relations scholar who articulated a "realist" view -- discussed in this 1981 paper -- that said the wide spread of nuclear weapons would create such risks to using them that no country ever would.