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Japan Passes Bills to Allow Troops to Fight in Overseas Wars

  • Japan hasn't sent military into combat since World War II
  • Fierce public opposition to changes undermined support for Abe
Japanese ruling and opposition lawmakers scuffle at the Upper House's ad hoc committee session for the controversial security bills at the National Diet in Tokyo on Thursday.

Japanese ruling and opposition lawmakers scuffle at the Upper House's ad hoc committee session for the controversial security bills at the National Diet in Tokyo on Thursday.

Photographer: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images
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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pushed through legislation allowing Japan to send troops to fight in overseas conflicts for the first time since World War II, after facing down a summer of protests that sank his popularity.

Parliament gave final passage of bills to allow the military to defend an ally under attack and take a bigger role in international peacekeeping. Abe says the measures will improve deterrence and protect the nation from growing regional threats. For critics, the bills could end seven decades of pacifism and risk drawing Japan into U.S.-led conflicts.