• Kyodo

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned this year’s graduating class of Self-Defense Forces cadets Sunday that the ongoing territorial “provocations” against Japan could easily turn into a crisis.

With North Korea stepping up development of nuclear and missile technologies and China playing chase with Japan around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, the SDF is facing “a crisis of the here and now,” Abe told the 424-strong graduating class of the National Defense Academy in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture.

The people appreciate every SDF member and law enforcement official who is “actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood,” Abe said, quoting U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt from a 1910 speech in Paris.

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