The Cabinet approved a bill March 13 to revise the law governing Japan’s participation in United Nations peacekeeping operations to allow military commanders to order defensive fire.

The Cabinet decision came after the tripartite ruling alliance agreed late March 12 to support the government-proposed bill. The Social Democratic Party, one of the Liberal Democratic Party’s non-Cabinet allies, originally opposed the revision, saying it would violate the Constitution, which bans organized military activities abroad.

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