The U.S. has tried to reassure the Korean government that it will allow Japan to deploy troops abroad only under special circumstances, such as when U.S. forces are attacked on the high seas, a senior diplomatic source in Seoul said Monday.
Japan is pushing to engage in something called "collective self-defense," which would allow it to send troops to an ally which is in some way under threat.
The U.S. reassurance comes after widespread unease in Korea about Japan's moves to bolster its military power. The diplomatic source said the Obama administration is "well aware" of the concerns felt by Koreans.
Earlier, chief presidential security advisor Kim Jang-soo met in Washington with U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice to express concern about the U.S.' endorsment of Japan's right to engage in military operations abroad.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been pushing to revise Japan's pacifist post-war constitution in order to give the country's Self-Defense Forces the right to be deployed overseas.