October 10, 2014 12:47
The U.S. and Japan are poised to revise defense guidelines so they can to engage in joint military operations on the Korean Peninsula in an emergency. But the Japanese military will require the approval of the Korean government to conduct operations inside its sovereign territory.
The U.S. and Japan in a defense cooperation meeting in Tokyo on Wednesday published an interim report covering the revised guidelines that expand the operational range of Japan's Self-Defense Forces to the Korean Peninsula and beyond in order to support American troops.
The revised guidelines will be confirmed as early as the end of this year and become effective early next year after relevant laws are revised.
The report says their alliance encompasses not only the Asia-Pacific region but beyond, and pledges that the two countries will cooperate for "regional and global peace."
The revisions come after the Japanese Cabinet in July decided to reinterpret the country's pacifist constitution, which marked a major shift in Japan's postwar security policy.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been asserting Tokyo's right to so-called collective self-defense, which allows it to intervene if an ally is in some way under threat.
But the Japanese military will probably not be deployed in battles abroad. Unless Tokyo revises the constitution, which renounces war, Japanese troops would only be allowed to handle supply transports and other rear support for U.S. soldiers, as well as intelligence gathering and guard duties.
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