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Japanese PM invokes Margaret Thatcher over Falklands in Island dispute with China

Leon Watson
Daily Mail

Japan’s prime minister today quoted former British leader Margaret  Thatcher over the importance of sea power as tensions with China mounted over a set  of tiny islands.

Shinzo Abe used the former Prime Minister’s defiant words on the 1982 Falklands war with Argentina to stress the importance of the rule of law at sea.

Mr Abe, whose country is embroiled in a row  with China over the disputed territory, said: ‘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.’

In a wide-ranging policy speech to parliament  he also urged Japan to seek to become ‘No.1’ as an economic power.

Mr 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.

It ended 74 days later with their surrender.  The conflict killed about 650 Argentine and 255 British troops.

Continuing in his own words, Mr Abe said:  ‘The rule of law at sea. I want to appeal to international society that in  modern times changes to the status quo by the use of force will justify  nothing.’

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SEE MORE CHINA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire China Files