Japan's ruling parties have given the green light to a government proposal to end a ban that has kept the Japanese military from fighting overseas since World War Two.
This is according to a ruling party lawmaker, who said the change will be adopted in a cabinet resolution later in the day.
A draft of the cabinet resolution shows the change, which will significantly expand Japan's military options by lifting the ban on exercising "collective self-defense," thereby allowing the country to aid its allies under an attack beyond its borders.
Limits on activities in UN-led peacekeeping operations will also be eased.
The move is being seen by some as the biggest shift in Japan's defense policy since the end of World War Two.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has aggressively pursued the change since taking office 18 months ago, despite some public opposition stemming from concerns about entanglement in foreign wars.
A poll conducted by Japan's Mainichi Shimbun over the weekend showed nearly 60 percent of the Japanese public is against the revision.
Tokyo's latest move is sure to set off alarm bells in Seoul and Beijing, the victims of Japan's wartime aggression.
The South Korean government has said that Japanese forces will not be allowed on the Korean Peninsula without its consent.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
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