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Japan Weighs Military Options on N. Korea

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Japan Weighs Military Options on N. Korea

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In light of North Korea’s recent missile tests, a top Japanese government spokesman said his nation needs to consider whether preemptive attacks on the North’s missile sites violate Japan’s pacifist Constitution or be allowed as an act of self-defense.

Shinzo Abe—Japan’s chief cabinet secretary and leading government spokesman—has been a prominent conservative voice in calls to revise the Constitution to allow Japan to build a full-fledged armed forces. Mr. Abe is the front-runner to replace Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who steps down in September.

Japan’s Constitution bars the use of military force in settling international disputes and prohibits the nation from maintaining a military for warfare. However, the country does maintain a Self-Defense Force of nearly 240,000 military personnel.

Source: Associated Press; The New York Times

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