Japan to play broader role under new defense guidelines

The US and Japan announced on Monday new guidelines for bilateral defense cooperation, allowing Japan’s self defense forces to take on a more ambitious global role that the Shinzo Abe administration has been seeking.

Under the new guidelines, revised for the first time since 1997, Japan will have the right to exercise collective self-defense and be able to defend other countries that may come under attack, said the US Defense Department in a news release. It also allows for increased regional and global cooperation in the US-Japanese alliance.

The US welcomes and supports the ongoing efforts to develop the legislation, which is to reflect Japan’s policy of Proactive Contributions to Peace and its July 2014 cabinet decision, the statement said.

The Abe administration, through reinterpreting the constitution last year, gave the green light to the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to exercise collective defense, which allows for Japan’s involvement in the defense of its allies. Previously, Japan’s war-renouncing constitution allowed the SDF to use force only if Japan itself was directly threatened.

Full article: Japan to play broader role under new defense guidelines (Want China Times)

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