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Japan's 'peace constitution' under pressure at 70

Source: Agence France-Press

Japan's American-written "peace constitution" has survived unchanged for 70 years, but nationalists seeking an overhaul are gearing up for a major new push as concerns grow over North Korean belligerence.

Conservatives have long called for the document they see as a national humiliation to be amended, but current political alignments and growing security concerns suggest they now have their best chance of success.

"The time is ripe," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday in a speech to supporters of change. "We will take a historic step towards the major goal of revising the constitution in this milestone year."

The constitution, which took effect 70 years ago on Wednesday, renounced Japan's sovereign right to wage war. It has been championed by progressives as a pacifist symbol born out of the country's World War II defeat.

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Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/japans-peace-constitution-under-pressure-70-073958617.html

China demands halt to US missile shield in S.Korea

Source: Agence France-Press

China demanded on Tuesday an immediate halt to a controversial US missile shield hours after Washington announced that the defence system was now operational in South Korea.

Washington and Seoul agreed to the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery deployment in July in the wake of a string of North Korean missile tests.

But its deployment has infuriated China, which fears it will weaken its own ballistic missile capabilities and says it upsets the regional security balance.

"We oppose the deployment of the THAAD system in (South Korea) and urge relevant sides to immediately stop the deployment. We will firmly take necessary measures to uphold our interests," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular press briefing.

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Read more: http://www.france24.com/en/20170502-china-demands-halt-us-missile-shield-skorea
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