TOKYO, May 14 (PNA/Kyodo) — The Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday approved security bills that would significantly expand the scope of overseas operations by the Self-Defense Forces in what would represent a major change to Japan’s post-World War II exclusively defense-oriented security policy.
Following Cabinet approval, the government is expected to submit the bills to the Diet on Friday. If passed, the legislation would remove geographical restrictions on where the SDF can operate, and under certain conditions allow it to defend its security ally the United States and other friendly countries for the first time since the war.
The proposed legislation was reflected in Japan-U.S. defense guidelines revised on April 27 amid an increasingly severe security environment in the Asia-Pacific region, with concerns over China’s muscle-flexing in the East and South China seas and military buildup as well as North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons development. (PNA/Kyodo)