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War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Takeo Fukuda, 1987

Part of War and Peace in the Nuclear Age.


Takeo Fukuda was Prime Minister of Japan from 1976-1978. He begins the interview with recollections of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and expresses views about such matters as the effect of the nuclear blasts in hastening the end of hostilities, and the reasons for the U.S. decision to use atomic weapons. Discussing nuclear proliferation, he recalls the shock of China’s nuclear test, and the challenges for Japan in adopting a policy of not possessing nuclear weapons. A challenge of a different sort arose with the concept of the peaceful uses of atomic energy, particularly in the context of Japan’s limited access to energy sources. Mr. Fukuda recalls also the related question of whether Japan should sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. He goes on to discuss the impact of the Carter administration’s nuclear policies, which he applauded on the one hand but which also limited access to peaceful nuclear energy for a number of countries. He closes with thoughts on how to maintain peace in the lead-up to the 21st century.

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War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
Carter's New World
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Interview with Takeo Fukuda, 1987

Series Description

The first atomic explosion in the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945, changed the world forever. This series chronicles these changes and the history of a new era. It traces the development of nuclear weapons, the evolution of nuclear strategy, and the politics of a world with the power to destroy itself.

In thirteen one-hour programs that combine historic footage and recent interviews with key American, Soviet, and European participants, the nuclear age unfolds: the origin and evolution of nuclear weapons; the people of the past who have shaped the events of the present; the ideas and issues that political leaders, scientists, and the public at large must confront, and the prospects for the future. Nuclear Age highlights the profound changes in contemporary thinking imposed by the advent of nuclear weapons. Series release date: 1/1989

Program Description

President Carter comes to office determined to reduce the number of nuclear weapons and to improve relations with the Soviet Union. His frustrations are as grand as his intentions.

Carter had hoped the United States and the Soviet Union would reduce their reliance on nuclear weapons. He stopped production of the B-1 bomber. He believed the SALT II negotiations would be a step toward eliminating nuclear weapons. But his intentions were frustrated by Soviet actions and by a lack of consensus among his own advisors, including Chief SALT II negotiator Paul Warnke and national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski (who was dubious about arms control). Carter balanced Soviet aggression in Africa by improving American relations with China. He withdrew SALT II treaty from Senate consideration but its terms continued to serve as general limits on strategic nuclear force levels for both the United States and the Soviet Union.



Asset Type

Raw video

Media Type


Trudeau, Pierre Elliott
Soviet Union
United States. Nuclear Nonproliferation Act of 1978
Giscard d’Estaing, Valery, 1926-
Callaghan, James, 1912-2005
World War II
Hiroshima-shi (Japan) -- History -- Bombardment, 1945
Nuclear weapons
Nagasaki-shi (Japan) -- History -- Bombardment, 1945
Andreotti, Giulio
Nuclear nonproliferation
Schmidt, Helmut, 1918 Dec. 23-
United States
Nuclear arms control Nuclear energy
Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1968)
Nuclear arms control
Renunciation of war -- Japan
Carter, Jimmy, 1924-
Nuclear disarmament
War and Conflict
Global Affairs
Fukuda, Takeo, 1905- (Interviewee)
Publication Information
WGBH Educational Foundation
Chicago: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Takeo Fukuda, 1987,” 07/14/1987, GBH Archives, accessed December 11, 2023,
MLA: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Takeo Fukuda, 1987.” 07/14/1987. GBH Archives. Web. December 11, 2023. <>.
APA: War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Takeo Fukuda, 1987. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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