Tokyo seeks ways to allow collective self-defense
The Abe administration is making moves to alter Japan's constitution in a way that makes it possible for the country to aid an ally under attack.
Kyodo News Agency reported Saturday that Tokyo is seeking a new bill to allow its Self-Defense Forces the right to collective self-defense.
The report also added that Abe is expected to even go as far as to try to reinterpret the current laws if the original plan of drafting a new bill fails to win approval.
The current law in Japan stipulates that the country's military cannot engage in combat operations and are strictly dispatched to defend the country, which is stated in Article 9 of the country's constitution.
If the new bill is approved by the Cabinet and the Diet or a reinterpretation of the constitution is given the green light, the country may be able to respond to an ally's request for military assistance and furthermore, in case of an emergency, it would allow Japan to dispatch its forces first without a parliamentary approval.
Nationwide polls show the majority of Japanese citizens are against Abe's move to grant stronger powers to its forces.
According to a recent survey by Kyodo, around 50 percent of respondents said they were against the move compared to the 39 percent that said they supported the prime minister's plan.
Other polls show a similar picture.
More than 59 percent of respondents in a poll by the Asahi Shimbun said they were against the new bill - two times more than those who supported it.
Around 54 percent of respondents in a poll by the Nikkei Daily said they did not support Prime Minister Abe's move.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.
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