Japan's Government Approves Larger Military Role

A man shouts slogans over a public-address system during a protest outside the Japanese prime minister's office in anticipation his government will reinterpret the constitution to allow Japan's military a larger international role in Tokyo. (AP photo)

TOKYO — Japan took a step away Tuesday from an American-drafted constitution that has long kept its military shackled, approving a plan to allow greater use of a force that was vanquished at the end of World War II. In one of the biggest changes to Japanese security policy since the war, the Cabinet approved a reinterpretation of the constituti... more

Japan's Abe Bids to End Ban on Fighting Abroad

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, left, is welcomed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prior to their talks at Abe's official residence in Tokyo Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013.

Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has announced plans to lift the country's ban on fighting in conflicts overseas, a move certain to raise tensions with China and anger voters at home. He called for a review of how Japan interprets its pacifist constitution to allow its military to participate in conflicts beyond its borders. In an apparent b... more

Japan Prepares End to Ban on Defending Allies

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YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan -- Japan is poised to introduce a plan that would allow its forces to defend allies for the first time in the post-World War II era, even as polls indicate public opposition to a reinterpretation of the nation's pacifist constitution. Advisers to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government say the legal maneuvers t... more

Ambassador Kennedy Visits Okinawa Amid Base Plans

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NAHA, Japan - U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, making her first visit to Okinawa in hopes of winning support for a U.S. military base relocation plan, pledged Wednesday that Washington would do its best to reduce the burden of its heavy troop presence there. "The United States is committed to working with you and the government of Jap... more

Panel: Japan Should Lift Ban on Collective Defense

Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) escort ship "Kurama" leads other vessels during a fleet review in water off Sagami Bay, south of Tokyo, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012.

TOKYO - A government panel will urge Japan to allow its military to help allies that come under attack, in a major reversal of the country's ban on collective defense under its pacifist constitution. The panel on Tuesday discussed ways that Japan can improve its defense capability and said it will present its near-final draft recommendation in ... more

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