We begin with a landmark decision out of Tokyo,
where the Cabinet has given the green light for a historic shift in Japan’s military policy.
Gone is a decades-long ban on the right to collective self-defense, meaning Japanese
troops will now be allowed to fight overseas in defense of friendly nations.
Korea is urging the Abe administration to adhere to the basic spirit of the pacifist
constitution and carry out follow up measures in a transparent manner.
Song Ji-sun reports. A ban that dates back to the end of World
War II… lifted. In a significant recasting of military policy
away from its pacifist policies, the Abe administration has reclaimed the right to send its soldiers
into battle even when the country is not under direct attack.
Following approval by lawmakers on Tuesday… the cabinet adopted a resolution dropping
a ban that has kept the military from fighting overseas since World War II.
This means… Japanese troops will be able to come to the aid of allies if they come
under attack from a common enemy — even if Japan is not the subject of the attack.
Tokyo will also be able to take on a greater role in UN peacekeeping missions. “For the sake of world stability and peace,
Japan will contribute more than it has up to this point.” After losing World War II, Japan was forced
to dismantle its military… and adopt a constitution that allows the use of arms only in the event
it is attacked on its territory. But interpretations of the constitution have
since been stretched over the years to allow for the strengthening of Japan’s Self-Defense
Forces. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been
aggressively pursuing the change since taking office… but Korea and China, major victims
of Japan’s past wartime aggression… have expressed opposition. “The Japanese government must proceed in a
transparent manner that guarantees peace and stability in the region, and at the same time
it must also earn its neighbors’ trust by putting an end to its distortion of past wrongdoings.” South Korea’s foreign ministry has said that
Japanese forces will not be allowed on the Korean peninsula without prior consent.
Song Ji-sun, Arirang News.