Iran’s publicly stated intention to advance its nuclear technology threatens a key element of Japan’s energy strategy–development of the Azadegan oil field … If Tehran does not alter its position, Japan could lose its rights to the field.
Am I the only person thinking that nuclear weapons in the hands of a religious maniac who has publicly stated that “Israel must be wiped off the map” is a slightly bigger danger than a first-world nation losing out on some choice oil fields? As I recall, that was what got us into that whole mess over Iraq.
It’s true that Japan has long been a net energy importer, and most of this takes the form of oil from the Middle East (its cultural history means it has no stake in the Israel-Palestine conflict, and can therefore do business in the region easily). Still, you’d have thought that with another putative nuclear rogue state living practically next door, the Japanese would be a little less sanguine about this sort of thing.
UPDATE: Mutant Frog have posted regarding this in response to a comment I left there and cleared up a few things. I recommend you read for the full story.