Japan Passes National Security Law

This weekend, Japan’s legislature passed a new National Security Law that allows the Japanese Self Defense Forces (SDF) to use military action in foreign conflicts for the first time since World War II. The lower house of the Japanese Diet passed the bill in mid-July.  

The vote was a referendum on Japan’s past and future.  The population has been divided for months between those who want to see Japan rise as an international power, and those who believe that post-war restrictions are responsible for a peaceful and prosperous modern Japan.  Japan’s current constitution only allows for the SDF to act in self-defense, but the new law would permit Japan to respond to attacks on its allies as well.  Japan will now expand its role in United Nations peacekeeping operations, increase contingency planning with the U.S., and explore new areas of defense cooperation with like-minded states.

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