• Kyodo News

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By a majority vote, the House of Councilors adopted a resolution Wednesday condemning North Korea’s rocket launch Sunday and calling on the government to impose additional sanctions on Pyongyang.

The resolution, passed at an Upper House plenary session, termed the launch “an act that poses a threat to life and property” in Japan. The move came after the House of Representatives endorsed a similar resolution during its plenary session Tuesday.

As before, the Japanese Communist Party voted against the latest resolution, while the Social Democratic Party abstained. Both parties said it has not yet been confirmed whether the object launched was a missile.

Prior to Sunday’s launch, the Diet unanimously adopted a resolution urging North Korea to forgo its stated plan to put a satellite into orbit.

Japan and other countries believe the launch was a cover for a long-range missile test.

The resolution condemns the launch as an intolerable violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. It urges Pyongyang to comply with the resolutions, which prohibit North Korea from engaging in any ballistic missile activities.

It also urged the Japanese government to impose further sanctions on the North.

The government plans to decide Friday on additional sanctions against North Korea and to extend ongoing sanctions, including banning port calls by North Korean-registered vessels, due to expire April 13, for one year rather than six months.

No nukes: Kawamura

Japan cannot possess nuclear weapons, Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said Wednesday, responding to a remark made by a Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker that the country should have them in the face of North Korea’s weekend rocket launch.

“As a nation with the three antinuclear principles (not producing, possessing or allowing nuclear weapons on its soil), such an option is not possible,” Kawamura told a news conference.

At an LDP executive meeting Tuesday, one participant referred to Pyongyang’s launch and said, “We should deal with this issue by recognizing that Japan needs to possess nuclear (weapons).”

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