U.S., Japan eye closer security ties in Japan defense pact update

U.S. President Barack Obama attends a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Akasaka guesthouse in TokyoBy Kiyoshi Takenaka and David Alexander TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan and the United States agreed on Wednesday to map out how they will work together if Tokyo needs to use force to help protect a friendly country under attack, as they update defense cooperation guidelines for the first time in nearly two decades. The development follows Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s historic step away from Japan’s post-war pacifism in July, when the Japanese government reinterpreted pacifist Article 9 of the constitution to end a ban that has kept its military from fighting abroad. …

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