Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Japan law to defend US, allied troops takes effect next week

Laws that would allow Japan’s forces to defend its close allies if under attack will take effect March 29, following a Japanese government cabinet resolution Tuesday.
The enactment of the security laws, which passed the national Diet in September despite majority opposition in most polls, broadens Japan’s ability to work with the United States and other militaries to its greatest extent since World War II.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told his cabinet Tuesday that the legislation “further ensures peace and security of our country through increasing deterrence and proactively contributing to peace and stability of the region as well as the international community,” according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.
Under existing law, if U.S. forces were attacked in a scenario where Japan was not also being attacked, Japanese forces could not legally fight back.
The new laws also permit Japanese forces to deploy globally through a less cumbersome process. Previous non-combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan required the Diet to pass special temporary laws. more