A package of legislation that would enable Japan to engage in collective self-defense and significantly expand the scope of Self-Defense Forces’ overseas missions has finally reached the Diet. The bills would change Japan’s postwar defense posture under the Constitution’s war-renouncing Article 9 — which limited the nation’s military action to defense-only defense, or repelling an enemy attack on the country with minimum necessary force. Yet it can hardly be thought that the public sufficiently understands and supports the move.

The package consists of two bills — one to amend 10 laws, including the SDF Law, the law that defines Japan’s response to armed attacks, the 1999 law on logistic support for the U.S. military in contingencies in areas surrounding Japan and the 1992 law that paved the way for Japan’s participation in United Nations-led peacekeeping operations.

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