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Japan coalition partner calls for caution on changing charter

Komeito leader stresses need for public backing along with supermajority

TOKYO -- The head of the junior party in Japan's ruling coalition has expressed concern that efforts to revise the country's pacifist constitution could accelerate without public buy-in after Sunday's general election.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeks to write the Self-Defense Forces into the charter's war-renouncing Article 9, aiming to have the new version take effect by 2020. Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi urged caution during a television appearance Tuesday, pointing out that even Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party is divided on the idea.

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