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Japan to lift ban on fighting overseas since WWII


07-01-2014 10:50 BJT

Japan's ruling parties have agreed to a government proposal to end a ban that has kept the military from fighting overseas since World War Two. The Cabinet is expected to announce the decision on Tuesday.

This is a major step away from Japan's post-war pacifism. The change will significantly widen Japan's military options by ending the ban on exercising right of "collective self-defence", or aiding other nations under attack. Japan's pacifist Constitution renounces war and has been interpreted as allowing the use of arms only for Japan's own self-defense.

Critics say Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has taken a shortcut by changing the interpretation of the relevant charter in a Cabinet meeting, instead of by democratic process. The move has triggered large scale of protests in Japan.

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