October 21, 2015 11:13
Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani on Tuesday said Tokyo will seek approval from countries according to international law before sending its Self-Defense Forces to their territories.
The announcement came in a joint statement with his Korean counterpart Han Min-koo after the two met for talks in Seoul.
The Defense Ministry said this was the first time that Japan has confirmed the position in a written statement with a foreign country.
The statement comes weeks after Japanese lawmakers passed a set of controversial security laws that allow forces to be deployed overseas if an ally is in some way under threat.
But Japan was more ambiguous when it comes to deploying forces in North Korea. Han reminded Nakatani that North Korea is constitutionally part of South Korea so Tokyo needs Seoul's approval before sending its troops into the North. But Nakatani only replied that Seoul and Tokyo must "closely cooperate" on the issue.
Han and Nakatani agreed to bolster military exchanges and mutual cooperation, while lower-ranking officials will soon discuss support for UN peacekeeping operations and action to thwart pirates.
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