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Nagasaki Bombing Anniversary: Japan PM Shinzo Abe Vows Future Without Nuclear Weapons

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TOKYO, Japan — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday marked the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki by renewing his commitment to a nuclear-weapons-free Japan, following criticism for not making the same pledge on the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing last week.

"As the only nation in the world to have suffered a war-time nuclear attack, I have renewed my resolve to play a leading role in pursuing a world without nuclear weapons and maintain the three non-nuclear principles," Abe said in Nagasaki Peace Park.

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The "three non-nuclear principles" are Japan's long-standing policy of not possessing or producing nuclear arms and not letting others bring them into the country.

Image: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the 2015 Nagasaki Peace Ceremony
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the 2015 Nagasaki Peace Ceremony at Nagasaki Peace Park. EPA

Japan's defense minister triggered a new row over controversial security legislation on Wednesday when he said the bills under consideration by parliament would not rule out the military transporting the nuclear weapons of foreign forces.

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Abe's cabinet adopted a resolution last year reinterpreting the pacifist constitution, drafted by Americans after World War II, to let Japan exercise collective self-defense, or defend an ally under attack.

The unpopular bills have already passed the lower house and Abe's ruling bloc has a majority in the upper house as well. But surveys show a majority of voters are opposed to what would be a significant shift in Japan's defense policy.

Hiroshima Marks 70th Anniversary of Atomic Bomb With Solemn Ceremony 0:49