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Published December 11, 2015
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is moving ahead this week with legislation that would boost the military's international role, in a significant shift of the country's pacifist policies.
Abe's ruling coalition is set to reach formal agreement Monday on a package of bills that would remove geographic restrictions on where the military can operate and allow it to do more.
The proposals are expected to be approved by the Cabinet later this week for submission to parliament.
They would allow Japan to defend its allies for the first time since World War II, and make it easier to provide logistical support for other militaries and participate in international peacekeeping operations.
Japan's military is limited to a self-defense role by a pacifist constitution adopted after World War II.