In 2009, Nautilus Institute at RMIT was funded by the Australia-Japan Foundation to organize a series of events on nuclear disarmament. RMIT Foundation provided matching funding to allow Ambassador Rolf Ekéus to attend the events.
Over several decades, Australia and Japan have developed a close security relationship, formalised in the 2007 Japan-Australia Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation. With the Australian initiative to establish the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, co-chaired by Australia and Japan, the relationship will deepen still further at a government-government level. This project seeks to supplement that government-government development with parallel work at the civil society level, which at least in the area of strategic relations, has been less developed than in other sectors.
On Friday 18 – Saturday 19 September 2009, academics and policy makers from Australia, Japan, the United States of America and Sweden exchanged views on extended nuclear deterrence and related issues.
On Monday 21 – Tuesday 22 September 2009, a broad range of people worked together to imagine four radically different futures and drew out the common threads in each one. This provided the basis for common understanding and a way to plan for an uncertain future.
Extended nuclear deterrence
One of the key themes of the events was extended nuclear deterrence. During the Cold War the United States of America provided for the security of its allies by threatening a nuclear response in the event of an attack on them by the Soviet Union. This policy, based on the threat of retaliation, served as the foundation for what is now called extended deterrence.