The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday authorized a reinterpretation of war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution, allowing Japan for the first time since World War II to come to the aid of an ally under attack.

The authorization marks a landmark shift in the postwar defense posture, which has prevented the country from waging wars on foreign soil.

Nevertheless, administration officials say the new policy emphasizes that Japan remains defense-oriented and will follow the path of a peaceful country, seeking to resolve conflicts through diplomatic means.