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Japan departs from pacifist stance, plans two aircraft carriers
The Straits Times ^

Posted on 07/15/2003 8:38:05 PM PDT by overtaxed_canadian

Japan departs from pacifist stance, plans two aircraft carriers Perception of North Korean threat may have led to decision

By Richard Halloran

HAWAII - The Japanese navy is preparing to build two small aircraft carriers, its first in more than 60 years, according to Japanese and United States officials.

The plan is further evidence that Japan is departing from its pacifist post-World War II Constitution that restricts its military to self-defence.

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The carriers can be deployed as command ships in a task force to give the Maritime Self-Defence Force, as the Japanese navy is called, a modest ability to project power into the sea-lanes that are vital to Japan's trading economy.

That capability is likely to draw protests from China, North Korea and South Korea, which were invaded by Japan during World War II.

Tokyo's decision to go ahead with the aircraft-carrier plan is believed to be prompted by its perception of an immediate threat from North Korea and a longer-term threat from China.

In its 2003 White Paper on defence published last week, the Self-Defence Agency asserted in more forceful terms than in earlier versions that the nation must build up its fundamental defence capabilities to ensure its independence.

In that respect, Japan is on the verge of building a missile defence. It has also just launched a second pair of intelligence satellites to watch North Korea.

Tokyo also recently passed laws giving the Self-Defence Forces wider latitude in defending their homeland.

Funds for the first small carrier have been included in Japan's defence budget for fiscal year 2004, beginning April 1 next year. The second carrier is scheduled for fiscal year 2005.

Japanese naval officers are calling the new ships 'destroyers' instead of 'aircraft carriers' in an effort to avoid triggering opposition from those against enhanced defence in Japan as well as from China and the two Koreas.

Yet drawings of the warship show the flat deck of an aircraft carrier and an 'island', or command structure, at the starboard or right edge of the deck.

Moreover, officials familiar with the ship's design said the deck and hangar below are capable of handling aircraft such as the joint strike fighter being developed by Lockheed Martin, a leading US defence contractor. That fighter, also called the F-35, is scheduled to go into production in 2008 just as the first Japanese carrier is ready for sea.

The F-35 will be a supersonic warplane capable of flying at 1 1/2 times the speed of sound. It will also incorporate stealth technology to enable it to evade radar detection.

The Japanese vessels will be comparable in size to Spain's 16,700-ton Principe De Asturias, which carries 17 planes.

The plan calls for equipping the carriers with new SH-60 Seahawk helicopters, which are designed to patrol the ocean, to detect submarines, and to protect the fleet.

The first ship is to be commissioned in 2008, the second in 2009. Two more may be built later.

An earlier proposal by the Self-Defence Forces to buy 'jump jets', that can fly as fighters or bombers, for four 14,700-tonne assault ships ran into political opposition. But that was before Japan got worried about North Korean missiles and nuclear arms.


TOPICS: Extended News; Japan
KEYWORDS: japan; navy
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1 posted on 07/15/2003 8:38:05 PM PDT by overtaxed_canadian
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To: overtaxed_canadian
Chester Nimitz and Bull Halsey are probably rolling over in their graves.
2 posted on 07/15/2003 8:45:31 PM PDT by x1stcav ( HOOAHH!)
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To: All
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3 posted on 07/15/2003 8:46:17 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: overtaxed_canadian
Is this real? Can this be happening?
4 posted on 07/15/2003 8:46:32 PM PDT by Live free or die
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To: x1stcav
Maybe so. But if we have to mix it up with the PRC or NK, I will be glad to have the Japanese on our side.
5 posted on 07/15/2003 8:48:55 PM PDT by SC Swamp Fox (Aim small, miss small.)
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To: overtaxed_canadian
now the next step is to get taiwanese aircraft carriers...:-)
6 posted on 07/15/2003 8:49:49 PM PDT by ahadams2
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To: Live free or die
Is this real? Can this be happening?

I'm shaking my head, too. Unbelievable.

7 posted on 07/15/2003 8:50:30 PM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: overtaxed_canadian
why don't we just sell them a couple of our retired carriers? ... given China / North Korea of late, a couple of carriers in the hands of an ally might not be a bad idea ... raise a little cash for the Treasury / DOD at the same time ...

they won't be a threat to the U.S.A.
8 posted on 07/15/2003 8:51:35 PM PDT by Bobby777 (http://www.tribulation.com/messiah.htm)
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To: overtaxed_canadian
HAWAII - The Japanese navy is preparing to build two small aircraft carriers, its first in more than 60 years, according to Japanese and United States officials.

That flowing sound is the sound of Chinese sphincters emptying.

9 posted on 07/15/2003 8:51:44 PM PDT by Centurion2000 (We are crushing our enemies, seeing him driven before us and hearing the lamentations of the liberal)
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To: SC Swamp Fox
exactly what I was thinking ...
10 posted on 07/15/2003 8:52:37 PM PDT by Bobby777 (http://www.tribulation.com/messiah.htm)
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To: overtaxed_canadian

Just the thing for the new Japanese carrier.

11 posted on 07/15/2003 8:52:50 PM PDT by MediaMole
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To: AmericanInTokyo; section9; Nick Danger; wardaddy; Travis McGee; Dog Gone; blam
"That fighter, also called the F-35, is scheduled to go into production in 2008 just as the first Japanese carrier is ready for sea."

It is a thing of beauty to watch China's plans for world disruption turn around and bite the Dragon. Japan is now re-arming. Sweet.

I mean, it's not like anyone thinks that North Korea is still going to be around in 2008...

12 posted on 07/15/2003 8:53:18 PM PDT by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: SC Swamp Fox
I agree completely. The second largest economy in the world is going to have to carry more of the load to defend itself, and to their credit, they seem to rising to the challenge.
13 posted on 07/15/2003 8:56:01 PM PDT by x1stcav ( HOOAHH!)
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To: Bobby777
why don't we just sell them a couple of our retired carriers?

I think it's because by the time that we get rid of a carrier it's ready to go ... exception being the ones Krintoon retired early.

Are those things still around somewhere ?

14 posted on 07/15/2003 8:58:59 PM PDT by Centurion2000 (We are crushing our enemies, seeing him driven before us and hearing the lamentations of the liberal)
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To: overtaxed_canadian
"Japanese naval officers are calling the new ships 'destroyers' instead of 'aircraft carriers' in an effort to avoid triggering opposition from those against enhanced defence in Japan as well as from China and the two Koreas."

LOL. The planes will be called ducks.

15 posted on 07/15/2003 9:01:36 PM PDT by blam
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: overtaxed_canadian
Tora! Tora! Tora!
17 posted on 07/15/2003 9:03:59 PM PDT by MistrX
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To: x1stcav
Chester Nimitz and Bull Halsey are probably rolling over in their graves.

Nimitz, for one, I suspect, would be happy that a peaceful, democratic Japan was strengthening its Navy to face agressive totalitarian neighbors.

18 posted on 07/15/2003 9:04:24 PM PDT by John H K
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To: MediaMole
Just the thing for the new Japanese carrier.

Didn't you read the article. It's not a carrier. It's a helicopter carrying destroyer for FOUR(4) only helicopters.

Who could possibly mistake for a carrier?

19 posted on 07/15/2003 9:05:18 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (hoist by his own petard. always funny.)
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To: overtaxed_canadian
A really neat historical touch would be to name them Akagi and Kaga. Or Hiryu and Soryu. That would really frost some Chinese balls.
20 posted on 07/15/2003 9:06:27 PM PDT by JackelopeBreeder (Proud to be a loco gringo armed vigilante terrorist cucaracha!)
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To: setcapt
I think we should sink them in a suprise cruise missle attack the day they are commisioned. Payback's a bitch.

I think Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Tokyo was actually a target but overcast on one of those days) paid the butcher's bill on that.

I just want to see the Chinese reaction .... they're probably going to S%^& themselves when Japan has carriers AND nukes.

21 posted on 07/15/2003 9:08:44 PM PDT by Centurion2000 (We are crushing our enemies, seeing him driven before us and hearing the lamentations of the liberal)
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To: overtaxed_canadian
China has been playing around without getting serious on North Korea, now their worst fears are coming true. Let's see if they decide to stop playing around and get serious about reining in NK.
22 posted on 07/15/2003 9:10:08 PM PDT by McGavin999 (Don't be a Freeploader, contribute to FreeRepublic!)
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To: Centurion2000
I'll have to check ... several still on duty were supposed to be retired ... like the Kitty Hawk ... I know we have all those other ships in storage ... seems like we'd have a carrier or two ... one is a floating museum of course ... I'll take a look at FAS ...
23 posted on 07/15/2003 9:14:22 PM PDT by Bobby777 (http://www.tribulation.com/messiah.htm)
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To: overtaxed_canadian
Can you believe the gas mileage these things will get?
24 posted on 07/15/2003 9:17:37 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Centurion2000
ame Number Builder Homeport Ordered Commissioned Decommissioned

Forrestal CV 59 Newport News Pensacola 1952 1955 11 Sep 1993
Saratoga CV 60 New York NSY Mayport 1953 14 Apr 1956 20 Aug 1994
Ranger CV 61 Newport News San Diego 01 Feb 1954 10 Aug 1957 10 Jul 1993
Independence CV 62 New York NSY Yokosuka 02 Jul 1954 10 Jan 1959 30 Sep 1998




I thought the Independence was still sailing ... I know at least one carrier is overdue for decom ... unless they got cut up for scrap I would think the Ranger and/or Saratoga are still around ... Navy guys? what's up with these ships?
25 posted on 07/15/2003 9:25:30 PM PDT by Bobby777 (http://www.tribulation.com/messiah.htm)
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To: overtaxed_canadian
I heard former Secty of Defense William Perry give a speech recently. He said it would be terrible if Japan were to re-arm, and set off an "arms race" in Asia.

That a Clintonite like Perry should oppose a policy can only mean Japan re-arming is something for which we should devoutly wish.

26 posted on 07/15/2003 9:26:38 PM PDT by Plutarch
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To: Southack
It is a thing of beauty to watch China's plans for world disruption turn around and bite the Dragon. Japan is now re-arming. Sweet.

It's a sweet thing. This story leapt right out of Latest Posts and bit me right on the buttock!

China's entire plan to dominate the Western Pacific and the oil route between the Persian Gulf and Japan depended on a pliant Japan. The stupid little Chia Pet in Pyongyang has now queered the deal, and the Japanese are rearming in a big way.

DO NOT BE FOOLED!

This is the beginning of full throttle Japanese naval rearmament. Japan has come to the conclusion that they must assert themselves, lest the Koreans first, and the Chicoms later, assume that the Japanese are weak and soft. This generation of carriers is merely a testbed. The next generation will be in the CVN-X class of vessels, probably with electric-drive motors, a full air wing of IJN Fleet Air Arm aircraft. Do not be surprised if the Japanese and the Americans pool design teams to develop a "common carrier" plan.

This is not bad news at all. This is great and glorious news. The Chinese plans for the domination of the Pacific have been checked. If the People's Liberation Army Navy would be made short work of by the U.S. Navy, imagine how long they would last against both the Pacific Fleet and the Nihon Kaigun! No one knows this more than the Chinese admiralty.

Be Seeing You,

Chris

27 posted on 07/15/2003 9:28:03 PM PDT by section9 (Major Motoko Kusanagi just killed Barney....)
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To: Centurion2000
That flowing sound is the sound of Chinese sphincters emptying.

The China of today is far different than the one in the 1930's. Japan would have no chance against them today. Japan would be a smoking crater in a few minutes. The only thing that would tighten sphincters in China today would be for us to deploy an effective missile defense system.

28 posted on 07/15/2003 9:31:13 PM PDT by mikegi
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To: Bobby777
I would think the Ranger and/or Saratoga are still around

I think that would be a little TOO ironic :)

29 posted on 07/15/2003 9:32:35 PM PDT by Centurion2000 (We are crushing our enemies, seeing him driven before us and hearing the lamentations of the liberal)
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To: 1rudeboy
Will they be built in Ohio? Will GM or Ford rebadge them and offer them in the US? Will they have any leg or head room?

30 posted on 07/15/2003 9:34:39 PM PDT by Right Angler
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To: mikegi
The only thing that would tighten sphincters in China today would be for us to deploy an effective missile defense system.

I believe that the US intends to share our tech with Japan when we finish one.

31 posted on 07/15/2003 9:36:58 PM PDT by Centurion2000 (We are crushing our enemies, seeing him driven before us and hearing the lamentations of the liberal)
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To: Bobby777
Lets see;
Independence is decommissioned and is in Bremerton.
Forrestal is decommissioned and I think is in Newport.
Saratoga is decommissioned and I think is also in Newport.
America is decommissioned and last I heard was in Philly which is closed so I don't know where it is now.
Midway is going to be a museum in San Diego.
Ranger is in Bremerton, I think.
Constellation is to be decommisioned next month in San Diego.

In any case all these ships are huge and would cost way too much for the Japanese to maintain and operate.
32 posted on 07/15/2003 9:44:25 PM PDT by hornetguy
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To: Centurion2000
of course these are *different* Ranger / Saratoga ships, yes? ... (I assume there were WWII Ranger and Saratoga ... I'm pretty sure there was a Ranger but I don't know my WWII ships other than the major players at Midway) ...

Nonetheless, the USA will never use them again, since they're not nuclear, and they should make the greens somewhat happy in Japan (they don't like it when a U.S. nuclear carrier docks) ...

now we just need some nifty advertising ...

Forrestal-class carriers ... everything must go ... we're clearing them out ... we must be crazy at these prices ... come buy them before we figure out they're too low ... free A-4 Skyhawk with every carrier ... rebates end July 30 ...

hehe ...
33 posted on 07/15/2003 9:49:34 PM PDT by Bobby777
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To: overtaxed_canadian
bttt+
34 posted on 07/15/2003 10:02:37 PM PDT by Kudsman (LETS GET IT ON!!! The price of freedom is vigilance. Tyranny is free of charge.)
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To: hornetguy
I knew some FReeper would know ... 8) ... shoot, it's only money ... tell the Japanese they come with a free pizza!
35 posted on 07/15/2003 10:03:43 PM PDT by Bobby777
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To: ahadams2; generalissimoduane
!
36 posted on 07/15/2003 10:23:07 PM PDT by BenLurkin (Socialism is slavery.)
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To: Bobby777
I thought the Navy was going to refit the Constellation like the Kitty Hawk, as a floating base for the Marines and Special Operations.
37 posted on 07/15/2003 10:25:11 PM PDT by neb52
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To: neb52
really? you mean transform it into a helicopter carrier and maybe a few Marine F-18's? ... cool ...
38 posted on 07/15/2003 10:28:52 PM PDT by Bobby777
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To: section9; Jeff Head
Aw Jeeez, NO WAY could the Japs build a half-way decent aircraft carrier!

.

.

.

< /extreme sarcasm >

39 posted on 07/15/2003 10:31:35 PM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: mikegi
The China of today is far different than the one in the 1930's. Japan would have no chance against them today. Japan would be a smoking crater in a few minutes. The only thing that would tighten sphincters in China today would be for us to deploy an effective missile defense system.

You are incorrect. China is not eager to get involved in a nuclear exchange, or engage in nuclear brinksmanship. Their population is more concentrated than ours. They are also far behind the U.S. in terms of deliverable warheads.

Conventional military superiority is more easily flexed and wielded than nuclear missiles. Japan's re-arming is terrible news for china.

40 posted on 07/15/2003 10:34:03 PM PDT by BushMeister
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To: overtaxed_canadian
But if we have to mix it up with the PRC or NK, I will be glad to have the Japanese on our side.

Quite right. I don't know if I feel good enough about Germany yet to allow them to re-arm as much as they want, but I think Japan is ready. Bushido is dead. They can be an extremely valuable ally if we let them, and we can save ourselves some money by lessening our defense obligations to them (provided we allow them to build up even more).

41 posted on 07/15/2003 10:35:26 PM PDT by squidly
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To: Bobby777
Lol, you should read the cyberpunk novel, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. The United States Navy ends up selling the USS Enterprise due to budget cuts to the books villain. Anyways, I think this is a great idea for Japan to pursue. I'm sure nobody believed in WW2 that the US and Japan would be allies against a communist China...
PS-Does anyone know if the carriers are going to be nuclear powered, or diesel?
42 posted on 07/15/2003 10:37:39 PM PDT by JohnnyRidden (Your Already Dead-Kenshiro)
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To: Oztrich Boy
Have you seen the light carriers fielded by the UK, France, italy, Spain, India, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, and Thailand?

I'm shocked at the design. It is so 1970's. I would expect a stealthy one similar to the corvairs the Penatogon is touting.
43 posted on 07/15/2003 10:59:06 PM PDT by rmlew ("Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute.")
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To: JohnnyRidden
I'd never heard of it ... I'd have no problem selling them non-nuke carriers ... I have to guess though, that the Japanese would go for a nuke ship, since they seem to like to modify American equipment ... I think they're building a jazzed-up version of the F-16 ...
44 posted on 07/15/2003 11:10:55 PM PDT by Bobby777
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To: Travis McGee; section9; overtaxed_canadian
I've been out in front of this a little...the Japanese have been preparing for this for some time. They already have two of the following Amphibious Assault vessels that are suspiciously about the size of the Spanish Carrier:

...and with a little retrofitting or modification on the design would look just like their artists concept where they can easily, quickly build two that are compatible with the F-35 JSF.

In fact, in Volume II of my Dragon's Fury Series, when Japan and China square off, they use the modified version in just the way I describe.

45 posted on 07/15/2003 11:18:32 PM PDT by Jeff Head
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To: rmlew
Have you seen the light carriers fielded by the UK, France, italy, Spain, India, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, and Thailand?

Yeah, my point It's a carrier.

It is so 1970's

may be appropriate. Japan is in the same position the UK. Italy were in the 70s. A navy that wants carriers, a government that has a political position of no carriers ever,

So.
1. Approval sought for Helicopter carrying Cruiser/destroyer of c.13,000 tons.
2. When that is given it grows in design to 20,000 tons and it is claimed that operating helicopters will be improved if we move the superstructure over to one side (But it's only for helicopters yes Sirree bob)
3. When built it's found that a with a few structural modifications it can operate combat aircaft. Who knew?
4. After a couple of decades operation it's declared that while successful, the next generation carriers should really be twice the size.

46 posted on 07/15/2003 11:30:18 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (hoist by his own petard. always funny.)
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To: Jeff Head
This is just Japan coming to grips with reality. They depend on open sea lanes for their survival, and they have decided that they need their own big sticks to keep them open.
47 posted on 07/15/2003 11:35:11 PM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: overtaxed_canadian
For a nation that tends to rationalize their past and not learning much from it, it is kind of scary that they are re-arming with offensive weapons. We don't need another Pearl Harbor.
48 posted on 07/15/2003 11:43:58 PM PDT by Fishing-guy
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To: Jeff Head
...and with a little retrofitting or modification on the design would look just like their artists concept where they can easily, quickly build two that are compatible with the F-35 JSF.

These were my thoughts too. They build something that can be quickly converted. They thereby acquire the military potential without provoking their peacenik voters.

Say, did Japan ever find that plutonium (enough for two bombs that went 'missing' a few months back)?
49 posted on 07/16/2003 1:03:28 AM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: Fishing-guy
For a nation that tends to rationalize their past and not learning much from it, it is kind of scary that they are re-arming with offensive weapons. We don't need another Pearl Harbor.

I see no reason to worry. We really are talking about a different Japan nowadays.

50 posted on 07/16/2003 1:10:39 AM PDT by squidly
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