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China Urges Japan To Be 'Responsible' On Nuclear Arms

China's President Hu-Jintao. Photo courtesy of AFP.
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Nov 15, 2006
China on Wednesday urged Japan to adopt a "responsible attitude" towards safeguarding regional peace after its neighbour said it should be allowed to possess nuclear arms for self-defense. "We hope the Japanese side will stick to its 'three non-nuclear principles' and adopt a responsible attitude in safeguarding regional peace and stability," official media quoted the foreign ministry as saying.

China hopes Japan, as a signatory of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), will seriously carry out its obligations, the ministry said.

Japan's cabinet on Tuesday reiterated its stance that Japan has the legal right to nuclear weapons even though it will not pursue the option.

"Purely from a theoretical viewpoint, the possession of a necessary minimum of nuclear weapons does not necessarily mean that it violates Article 9 of the constitution," said a statement approved by the cabinet.

The article bans the use of force in solving international disputes.

China, which still harbors painful memories of Japan's atrocities in World War II, is wary about signs of the revival of Japanese militarism.

North Korea's October 9 nuclear test has triggered concerns that Japan, South Korea and even Taiwan could develop atom bombs if the international community fails to persuade Pyongyang to scrap its nuclear programs.

Japan's statement, issued in response to a question from a parliament member, however said that the cabinet "does not have the intention of discussing the need to review the non-nuclear principles."

The "three non-nuclear principles", which state that Japan would not produce, possess or allow the entry into its territory of nuclear weapons, were approved by Japan's parliament in November 1971.

New Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has supported a larger military role for Japan including rewriting the US-imposed 1947 pacifist constitution -- a move that has worried China.

Parties to the NPT aim to stop the spread of nuclear weapons.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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For US, Differences Over Iran Amount To Diplomatic Cuisine
Washington DC (AFP) Nov 15, 2006
The United States downplayed Wednesday differences with partners on proposed UN sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program as "sausage making," and assured an agreement would be made. President George W. Bush's national security advisor Stephen Hadley made the remark as he stressed the need for a United Nations resolution on sanctions ahead of exploratory talks on Iran between Washington and five other major powers.

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