Japan's parliament has voted into law on Saturday a defense policy shift that relaxes the constitutional limits on its military power for fighting overseas.
A main feature of the new laws is removal of long-standing ban on exercising the right of collective self-defence, or defending the US or another friendly nation that comes under attack, in cases where Japan faces a "threat to its survival".
It is known as major bill of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe since 1945 that pushes the nation to loosen the limits of the pacifist constitution on the military. Since the creation of its post-war military in 1954, the move is vital to meet new challenges such as rising China, Various media reported Friday.
The bills, already approved by parliament's lower house, were voted into law by the upper chamber in the early hours of Saturday despite opposition parties' efforts to block a vote by submitting censure motions and a no-confidence motion against Mr Abe's cabinet in the lower house.
\Moreover, the new legislation has led to protests from ordinary citizens and others as they believe that it violates the pacifist constitution and could involves Japan in US-led conflicts following the 70 years of post war peace.
The revisions also expand the scope for logistics support for the militaries of the US and other countries, and for participation in peace keeping but still Japan remain constrained in overseas military operations by legal limits as well as due to deeply rooted public anti-war mindset.
"Even if the constitution is revised, among the Japanese people no one is thinking of going to foreign lands for the purpose of exercising force," former defence minister Itsunori Onodera said.
"I think Japan will maintain that stance from now on as well." Onodera added.