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Japan’s bishops oppose constitutional interpretation that allows for military action

Catholic World News - July 24, 2014

In a shift from longstanding national policy, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government stated that the nation’s constitution permits Japan to come to the military defense of allies-- prompting a rebuke from the nation’s bishops.

Japan’s 1947 constitution, adopted in the wake of World War II, states that “the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.”

“For nearly 70 years since World War II, the Japanese citizens have respected and taken pride in the Constitution of Japan, especially the preamble, which appeals for world peace and pledges permanent peace, and Article 9, which stipulates the renunciation of war,” the bishops said in a letter to the prime minister.

“During these years while international society has undergone incessant armed conflicts, Japan has not caused any deaths in war, either among Japanese or foreigners,” they continued. “However your cabinet has trampled on this Constitution by deciding to reinterpret the Constitution so as to permit the exercise of a right to collective self-defense.”

The bishops added that “we, the Catholic Church, are convinced that it is false to think that national security can be ensured by military buildup and the use of force … We must not abandon the hope to avoid war and armed conflict through dialogue and negotiation. No matter how difficult it seems, this is the only way to bring about peace among nations.”

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  • Posted by: skall391825 - Jul. 25, 2014 3:21 AM ET USA

    QUOTE The bishops added that “we, the Catholic Church, are convinced that it is false to think that national security can be ensured by military buildup and the use of force … We must not abandon the hope to avoid war and armed conflict through dialogue and negotiation. No matter how difficult it seems, this is the only way to bring about peace among nations.” END QUOTE Is there a new Catholic Church with new doctrine?

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