• Kyodo News

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Thirty-eight lawmakers from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party took part Tuesday in the first meeting of a study group on Asian diplomacy and security launched by LDP members critical of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s view of history.

The group, headed by former LDP Secretary General Koichi Kato, decided in the meeting, held at the Diet, that it would discuss such matters as the North Korean nuclear issue and China’s military buildup, and to come up with “Asia-oriented” policy proposals.

“With North Korea’s nuclear test, our mission to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula is on the edge. We will make proposals to the government as well as thoroughly research diplomacy and security in Asia,” said Taku Yamasaki, a former LDP vice president who is an adviser to the group.

The 38 attendees were a mix of lawmakers from the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors. Another 23 LDP members sent proxies.

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