• Kyodo

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A group of opposition lawmakers will try to submit a bill to the Diet to prohibit Japan from exercising the right to collective self-defense, aiming to avert the historic shift in security policy that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet decided to pursue last month.

The bill — outlined Friday and to be submitted to an extraordinary session of the Diet this autumn — would explicitly state that Japan will not exercise the right to collective self-defense and will use the right only if Japan itself is threatened by incursion or invasion.

The U.N. right of collective self-defense allows a country to come to the aid of an ally under armed attack, but is banned under the government’s current interpretation of war-renouncing Article 9 the Constitution.

The bill would also prohibit the introduction of conscription.

“We hope to put into shape the spirit of peacekeeping that we have held in the postwar period,” said Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker Shoichi Kondo, the leader of the group.

The other members of the group are from the DPJ, Social Democratic Party and other opposition parties.

The bill, however, might not be accepted by the Diet.

To be accepted, it must be endorsed by the party of those submitting it, and the DPJ, the largest opposition force, has some members who support the Cabinet’s divisive decision to reinterpret the Constitution, rather than amend it, in a way that permits Japan to use the right.