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Following boisterous confrontations in the Diet and more than three days of public protest, the Upper House finally enacted two divisive security laws early Saturday that will mark a significant departure from Japan’s postwar pacifism.

Enacting the contentious laws was one of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s long-held ambitions. His goal was to find a way to remove some of the key legal restrictions that the war-renouncing Constitution imposes on the Self-Defense Forces during overseas missions in order to strengthen Japan’s all-important military alliance with the United States.

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