Japanese cabinet approves security bills amid voters’ confusion
May 15, TOKYO: In the midst of public anger over the changes, Japan‘s cabinet okayed bills on Thursday to implement a seismic shift in security policy permitting the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. The proposed changes, seen in new US-Japan defense guidelines brought about last month, set the stage for Japan to play a bigger role in the bilateral alliance as the two nations face challenges such as China‘s growing military assertiveness. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet adopted a resolution last July reinterpreting the pacifist constitution to drop a self-imposed ban on exercising the right of collective self-defense, or militarily aiding a friendly country under attack. At a news conference after the cabinet’s approval, Abe rejected concerns the new policy would increase the risk of Japan becoming entangled in wars through its alliance with Washington, and said it would instead boost deterrence. He said there was “no room for doubt” that Japan would keep its 70-year-old pledge not to become a belligerent nation to wage war on others. However, he added they no more must close their eyes to the changes of in the situation and remain unconcerned. He said that should they move forward with confidence to give a secure Japan to their children. China, while reacting to the proposed changes, urged Japan to learn the lesson of history. South Korea also called on Japan to not dump the constitution spirit.
The Oslo Times