Abe's cabinet approves draft security bills for greater SDF role

Updated: 2015-05-15 08:56


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Abe's cabinet approves draft security bills for greater SDF role

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gestures as he speaks during a news conference at his official residence in Tokyo May 14, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

TOKYO - The Cabinet of Japan on Thursday approved a legislative package on national security which will allow the Self-Defense Forces to fight abroad, marking a major change to Japan's post-war exclusively defense-oriented security policy.

The package, including a permanent bill on international peace assistance and other comprising revisions to 10 existing laws, will remove geographical restrictions on where the SDF can operate, and under certain conditions allow Japan to defend its security ally for the first time since the end of the WWII.

So far, the government has been required to enact a special law each time it wants to dispatch the SDF for overseas logistical support. After the enactment of the permanent bill, the SDF personnel could be dispatched overseas at any time when needed.

Of the revisions, one would alter the law on contingencies in areas surrounding Japan, removing the geographical constraint and allowing the SDF to extend logistic support not only to U.S. forces but also to other foreign militaries.

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