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

Part of War and Peace in the Nuclear Age.


Yuko Kurihara was the Japanese Minister for Defense in 1987. In the interview, he briefly discusses Japanese defense concerns, which are primarily affected by the interactions of the United States, the USSR and the People's Republic of China. Of particular concern is the Soviet Union, which dedicates between a quarter and a third of its military forces to the Far East. Asked if conventional forces are enough to defend the country, Mr. Kurihara responds that the Peace constitution dictates that Japan cannot possess nuclear weapons. He adds that the country is determined never to have another war.

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War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
Carter's New World
Program Number



Interview with Yuko Kurihara, 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


United States
Soviet Union
World War II
Self-defense (International law)
Nuclear weapons
Renunciation of war -- Japan
International relations
Tokyo, Japan
Global Affairs
War and Conflict
Kurihara, Yuko, 1920- (Interviewee)
Publication Information
WGBH Educational Foundation
Chicago: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Yuko Kurihara, 1987,” 06/16/1987, GBH Archives, accessed December 11, 2023,
MLA: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Yuko Kurihara, 1987.” 06/16/1987. GBH Archives. Web. December 11, 2023. <>.
APA: War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Carter's New World; Interview with Yuko Kurihara, 1987. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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