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On the eve of a historic decision, thousands of people turned up at the prime minister’s office on Monday evening to shout their opposition to his plan to reinterpret Article 9 of the Constitution to permit collective self-defense, which could pave the way for Japan to wage war.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet approved a reinterpretation of the pacifist charter at an extraordinary meeting Tuesday, allowing Japan to come to the aid of an ally under attack even when Japan itself is not.

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