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Panel to urge Japan to reinterpret constitution to allow greater military role

A government-appointed expert panel is submitting a report Thursday that will urge Japan to reinterpret its constitution so its troops could use force to defend other countries for the first time in the post-World War II era.

Japan maintains a military now only for its own defense, but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing for it to play a greater role in international security.

Panel members have said that a deteriorating regional security environment makes Japan's current ban on what is known as collective self-defense inadequate.

Opponents say the proposed reinterpretation would undermine the war-renouncing clause of Japan's constitution.

Abe will have to overcome doubts within the ruling coalition to win approval for collective self-defense.

Surveys show public opinion is mixed.