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Bolivia president voices desire for pacifist constitution on Japan trip

[JURIST] Bolivian President Evo Morales [official website, Spanish; BBC profile] told reporters Friday that his government has a desire to "renounce the recourse to war under the Republic of Bolivia's new constitution." Morales made the remarks following a meeting in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe [official website; BBC profile], whose country already has a constitution [official text] with a pacifist provision [Article 9 backgrounder] imposed by the United States following World War II. Morales added, however, that even if a pacifist constitution were implemented, Bolivia's armed forces would not be dissolved and Bolivia would maintain its conscript one-year military service.

Bolivia is currently engaged in a major constitutional overhaul led by a Constitutional Assembly [official website, Spanish] dominated by members of Morales' Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) [party website, Spanish]. Japan's Abe, ironically, is currently seeking to amend his country's pacifist constitution [JURIST report] to allow more flexibility for Japanese military activities abroad. AFP has more.

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