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Abe defends new Japan defense policy Updated: 2014-07-15 12:03:11 KST

(And it's not just historical issues that are enraging neighboring countries, like China and Korea)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is defending his controversial push to expand his country's military role saying it is limited in scope.
In his first parliamentary session since his administration's decision to reinterpret Japan's pacifist constitution, Abe played down the expanded rules of engagement of collective self-defense saying the newly adapted ability to aid a friendly nation under attack is strictly limited to things like mine-sweeping in the Middle East.
He said Tokyo would require a formal constitutional amendment to engage in collective self-defense similar to that of other countries.
The Japanese leader also called for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a regional meeting in Beijing in November.
Abe made a point of mentioning their massive trading and business ties, and added they had complex links, despite rows over territorial and historical grievances.


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