Page 5, 30th March 2007

30th March 2007
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Page 5, 30th March 2007 — Japanese prelate preaches peace
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Japanese prelate preaches peace

BOOS-TING the military of Japan would be a "grave threat" to Asian Pacific countries, a Japanese archbishop has said.

, Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Talcami of Nagasaki criticised Japanese Prime Minister Shinto Abe's referendum to revise Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, which is an obstacle to Japan's remilitarization and military involvement overseas. "Japan without Article 9 would be a serious threat to neighbouring countries" because of Japan's aggressive history before the Second World War, said Archbishop Takarni.

If Japanese citizens vote in favour of the referendum on May 3, Japan's Constitution Day. the government would be permitted to maintain de jure military forces which could be deployed for combat. Japan's military would be the third largest in the world, behind the United States and Russia, said the archbishop. However. Abe and supporters of the referendum argue that Japan should be able to protect itself from North Korea and China.




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