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The World | IN BRIEF / JAPAN

Cabinet Backs Expanded Role for the Military

April 17, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

The Cabinet endorsed new rules that would expand Japan's military role and give the government new powers in the event of a foreign attack. Opponents say the move runs afoul of Japan's post-World War II pacifist constitution.

The measures are designed to give a greater latitude to the prime minister and the Self-Defense Forces during a military emergency. Cabinet endorsement brings the measures a major step closer to ratification.

The three bills are to be sent today to parliament, which has until mid-June to vote them into law.

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