Japan on Tuesday adopted new principles and guidelines on arms exports, the first major overhaul in nearly half a century of its arms embargo policy, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe set the stage for the country to play a more active role in global security.

Despite concern that the new policy change will hurt the country's status as a pacifist state, the Cabinet approved the rules that update the so-called "three principles" on restricting arms exports in the Cold War era, and give more clarity and leeway to the country's weapons export policy.

The newly adopted three principles on the transfer of defense equipment state that Japan will continue to embrace the basic philosophy of a pacifist state that abides by the U.N. Charter.