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The ruling coalition came close to agreement Friday on three new standards under which the Self-Defense Forces could use force in circumstances other than when Japan is under direct attack.

Amid heated debate on whether the government, rather than the people, should reinterpret the pacifist Constitution, Japan is now a step closer to overhauling its defense-focused posture, with the Liberal Democratic Party and coalition partner New Komeito set to approve a draft statement that incorporates the three points, thus allowing Japan to enact collective self-defense. The concept has been taboo since Japan lost the war.

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