Japan changes post-war pacifist course
The Japanese parliament has finally approved a set of controversial security bills that would allow the country’s military to potentially engage in wars overseas.
Japanese lawmakers in the upper house of the parliament approved the bills in the early hours of Saturday, fundamentally reshaping the country’s constitution, which has stressed non-intervention in foreign military conflicts ever since the Second World War.
The bills passed with 148 in favor and 90 against after hours of heated debates, according to President of the upper house Masaaki Yamazaki.
The vote came as thousands rallied outside the parliament building in what proved to be a futile last-ditch show of opposition to the bills.
Police estimated the demonstrators to number at around 11,000. They were calling Prime Minister Shinzo Abe – who had proposed the bills – to step down.