Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to appoint Ambassador to France Ichiro Komatsu to head the Cabinet Legislation Bureau, which advises on interpreting the Constitution, apparently because he appears more amenable to the lifting of Japan's self-imposed ban on engaging in the right of collective self-defense.

The appointment of a diplomat is unusual because it is customary for the bureau's deputy director general to be promoted to director general. If confirmed, Komatsu will succeed Tsuneyuki Yamamoto, who reportedly is opposed to lifting the ban on collective self-defense under the current interpretation of the Constitution, government sources said Friday.

The right allows a country to come to the defense of an ally under armed attack.