Japan bares nuclear facts

Japan has finally broken its long silence on its plutonium stockpile. A white paper on atomic energy by its Science and Technology Agency says that by 1993-end Japan had 4,684 kg of domestic plutonium reserves; 6,197 kg lay in Britain and France to be shipped to Japan after reprocessing. Agency officials say that the disclosure is meant to allay fears about Japan's nuclear ambitions. Plans have also been announced to prepare periodical reports on the stockpile quantum.

But such assurances cut no ice with Japan's anti-nuclear groups. The Citizen's Nuclear Information Centre, for one, is unconvinced that nuclear information will be voluntarily publicised.