• Kyodo

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Ichiro Ozawa, leader of the Liberal Party of Japan, renewed his belief Saturday that Japan’s Constitution allows the country to take part in U.N. peacekeeping missions that involve the use of force as long as U.N. resolutions are observed.

Ozawa, on the first leg of a weeklong tour of Canada and the United States, made the statement at a general meeting of Liberal International, a global federation of liberal parties.

“When we join the peacekeeping activities based on the U.N. resolutions, those activities would in no way conflict with the Constitution even if they entail the use of force,” he said. Japan’s Constitution bans it from using force to resolve international disputes.

“What Japan is doing is fulfilling duties as a member nation of the United Nations based on the U.N. Charter, and not wielding force as a manifestation of the power of the state,”

Ozawa said, “The government’s interpretation that the Constitution limits Japan’s activities is wrong.”

Japan’s peacekeeping work is currently limited to noncombat missions.

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