Thousands of people have protested outside of Japan’s parliament against new legislation that would allow the military to deploy overseas. The changes would allow Japanese troops to fight abroad for the first time since World War Two. The legislation has already been passed by Japan’s lower house and is expected to be endorsed by the upper chamber. Under its constitution, Japan is barred from using force to resolve conflicts except in cases of self-defence.
But a reinterpretation of the law will now allow “collective self-defence” – using force to defend allies under attack. The demonstrations are being led by students and other young people who say they wish to protect Japan’s pacifist constitution. Police are lining the streets and telling protesters to move along in an attempt to minimize disruption in the capital’s centre.