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South Korea urges Japan to uphold spirit of war-renouncing Constitution

Kyodo

South Korea on Thursday called on Japan to uphold the spirit of its pacifist Constitution and maintain transparency in discussing its defense and security policies.

“Our government reiterates once again that Japan’s discussions on defense and security policies should be held in such a way as to uphold the spirit of its pacifist Constitution and maintain transparency and also in a way to help preserve stability and peace in the region,” South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The statement was issued earlier in the day after a Japanese security panel appointed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe submitted its recommendations for lifting Tokyo’s self-imposed ban on exercising the U.N. right to collective self-defense.

“As for issues affecting the security on the Korean Peninsula and our national interests, not a single issue can be permitted without our request or agreement,” the statement said.

The statement also called on Japan “to dispell suspicions and concerns held by neighboring countries in handling issues related to security.”

The Japanese government’s current interpretation of its war-renouncing Constitution prohibits it from defending the United States and other allies under armed attack.

The panel, headed by former Japanese Ambassador to the United States Shunji Yanai, made the proposal amid China’s growing assertiveness and North Korea’s nuclear threats in the region.