Marking a historic change in Japan's pacifist postwar defense posture, two contentious security laws took effect Tuesday that will allow Tokyo to exercise its right to collective self-defense without breaking the Constitution.

Until now, even though that right is endowed to every nation by the United Nations Charter, the pacifist Constitution was widely considered as banning the option in war-renouncing Article 9, until the Abe administration opted to reinterpret it, rather than formally amend it.

Many of those opposed to the changes have called the new laws "war legislation," fearing the nation will either enter, or be dragged into, military conflicts that are not of its making.