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Japan PM Abe cites Thatcher reflections on Falklands war

Published on Feb 28, 2013 5:24 PM
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gestures as he delivers his policy speech at the National Diet in Tokyo on Thursday, Feb 28, 2013. Mr Abe, whose country is embroiled in a row with China over tiny islands, on Thursday quoted former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's reflections on the 1982 Falklands war with Argentina to stress the importance of the rule of law at sea. -- PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose country is embroiled in a row with China over tiny islands, on Thursday quoted former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's reflections on the 1982 Falklands war with Argentina to stress the importance of the rule of law at sea.

"Our national interests have been immutable. They lie in making the seas, which are the foundation of our nation's existence, completely open, free and peaceful," Abe said in a wide-ranging policy speech to parliament in which he also urged Japan to seek to become "No.1" as an economic power.

Abe went on to quote a remark from Thatcher's memoirs, reflecting on the Falklands war, in which she said Britain was defending the fundamental principle that international law should prevail over the use of force.

The war over the remote South Atlantic archipelago began when Argentine troops landed on the Falkland islands on April 2, 1982, and ended 74 days later with their surrender. The conflict killed about 650 Argentine and 255 British troops.

 
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