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US welcomes Japan's move to expand military role

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a press conference at his official residence in Tokyo on July 1, 2014The United States Tuesday welcomed a historic shift by Japan to expand the role of its military by reinterpreting the terms of the nation’s US-imposed constitution. “We have followed with interest the extensive discussion within Japan on the issue of exercising its right under the UN Charter to collective self-defense,” State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said. “We welcome the government of Japan’s new policy regarding collective self-defense and related security matters.” After months of political horse-trading and browbeating of opponents, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his cabinet had formally endorsed a reinterpretation of rules that have banned the use of armed force except in very narrowly-defined circumstances.

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