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Abe Confronts War-Allergic Japan Public on Defending Allies

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to allow Japan to defend its allies are meeting opposition from a war-wary public, concerned that broadening the remit of the military could drag the country into a conflict after almost 70 years of peace.

With the cabinet agreeing to reinterpret the constitution to permit collective self-defense, Abe’s government, which has a majority in both houses, plans to submit bills starting in the autumn specifying changes to the role of the Self-Defense Forces. Surveys show ordinary Japanese are increasingly concerned about his actions, raising the risk of slow progress through the Diet as lawmakers waver.