Security bill not war legislation, Abe says

Security bill not war legislation, Abe says

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave a press conference Thursday to say, in part, that "not one single Japanese wants war." He was explaining bills to expand the Japanese Self-Defence Forces' mandate, a major change to Japan's post-World War II defence policies.

The legislation, approved by the cabinet earlier in the day, will be sent to the Diet on Friday.

Abe said the bills are intended to ensure the safety of the Japanese people.

When passed, the legislation will allow the SDF to to mount a counterattack in support of an ally under fire. This is called collective self-defence.

"Imagine if a conflict occurred overseas and our ally, the US, sent a ship to rescue Japanese people trapped there," Abe said when asked why he was pushing the legislation despite public opposition. "If that ship were to be attacked in seas near Japan, we are not able to respond, unless Japan is directly attacked. I am convinced that we need a new security mechanism."

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