Ishihara said that Japan could develop nuclear weapons within a year and send a strong message to the world. "All our enemies: China, North Korea and Russia - all close neighbours - have nuclear weapons. Is there another country in the world in a similar situation?" the Independent quoted Ishihara, as saying.
"People talk about the cost and other things, but the fact is that diplomatic bargaining power means nuclear weapons. All the [permanent] members of the [United Nations] Security Council have them."
"We should develop sophisticated weapons and sell them abroad. Japan made the best tanks in the world before America crushed the industry. We could get that back," he added.
Ishihara further said that the maritime clash last year over the Senkaku Islands, which are owned by Tokyo but claimed by Beijing, had exposed his country's weakness in Asia.
"China wouldn't have dared lay a hand on the Senkakus [if Japan had nuclear weapons]," the Tokyo Governor said.