Majority of Japanese say no to pre-emptive strikes

August 13, 2006

TOKYO (Reuters) – A majority of Japanese believe that their
country should not have the capability to make pre-emptive
strikes, according to a survey published on Sunday.

North Korea’s July 5 missile tests rekindled debate in
Japan over whether it should develop the ability to make such
strikes and whether they would violate its pacifist

A survey conducted on August 5 and 6 by the Yomiuri Shimbun
daily found that 55.1 percent of the 3,000 respondents said
they definitely felt or leaned toward the idea that Japan
should not have the capability to make pre-emptive strikes.

Nearly 39 percent either definitely felt or leaned toward
the idea that Japan should have such capability.

A clear majority, however, felt that Japan should impose
further sanctions against North Korea in the wake of the test,
the Yomiuri said.

Japan announced a package of initial sanctions just after
the launches, and lawmakers have been drawing up a bill that
would toughen existing laws on remittances, trade, and money

High on the agenda is limiting fund remittances to North
Korea from pro-Pyongyang ethnic Koreans in Japan.

Fifty-five percent of respondents said they definitely felt
tougher sanctions were needed, while an additional 24.4 percent
said they were leaning in that direction.

Laws passed two years ago allow Japan to suspend
remittances and trade, as well as take other steps to restrict
the flow of money and goods, but have refrained from specifying
any specific nations.

About 600,000 ethnic Koreans live in Japan, and about
150,000 of them consider themselves to be North Koreans.

Most are descendants of people who came voluntarily or were
forcibly brought to Japan during its 1910-1945 colonisation of
the Korean peninsula.

Source: reuters

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