China expresses concern over Japan's push to permit greater military role; U.S. welcomes moveUpdated: 2014-07-02 22:44:12 KST
China's Foreign Ministry has expressed concerns over the Abe administration's move, saying it has taken an unprecedented measure that greatly changes Japan's military security policies.
"We can't help thinking Japan would change the path of peaceful development that it has stuck to since the end of World War II. We also have noticed that Tokyo's attempt to exercise a right to collective self-defense has been met by strong opposition within Japan."
In a statement Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said it was an important step for Japan to take a positive role in international security cooperation efforts.
The White House also welcomed the move.
"We'd make it clear, we believe that this is good potentially for our alliance."
Analysts say a stronger Japanese role serves the U.S. interests in the region as it should contain China's rising influence in Northeast Asia.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Abe's reinterpretation of the country's pacifist Constitution has gone down badly with many inside Japan.
Japan's opposition blocks and protesters are demanding that Abe and the ruling coalition go back on their decision.
They say the public was not consulted with on an issue that not only changes the pacifist nature of the constitution, but also affects the future of the Japanese people.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News.
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The U.S. wants Japan to act on its behalf to control other countries in N.E. Asia.