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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

One step closer to nuclear?

Foreign Minister Taro Aso said Tuesday that Japan should openly debate whether to develop its own nuclear deterrent following North Korea's atomic test, while stressing that the government doesn't support such a move.

...But he said the regional security environment has changed since the policy was introduced in the 1960s.

"It's only natural to discuss how we should cope with the changing environment around us," Aso said. "I'm not in favor of suppressing a debate over whether we should or should not possess nuclear (bombs) or stick to the three non-nuclear principles."

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Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Yoshihide Suga on Tuesday plans to order Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) to give greater reporting focus to the issue of North Korean agents' abductions of Japanese citizens.

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[Prime Minister] Shinzo Abe [grandson of Class A War criminal Kishi, who was responsible for putting an end to hopes for a pacifist Japan in 1959] ...was in the center of a raging storm last year when Asahi Shimbun revealed in several articles that the then-deputy chief cabinet secretary and Shoichi Nakagawa, another LDP member and now agriculture, forestry and fisheries minister, pressured NHK, Japan’s public television network, to censor a documentary program about a people’s tribunal set up to judge the use of sex slaves by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. Most of the victims were Koreans, Chinese, Filipino and Indonesians.

Following the report, an NHK producer also conceded in tears that they were made to remove key footage, including survivors’ heart-wrenching testimony, from the program that was aired in January 2001.

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