Tens of thousands took to the streets to oppose a controversial change to Japanese defense policy last week. The parliament voted to overturn a policy prohibiting the deployment of Japanese military forces abroad. That policy was put in to place at the end of World War II, and had contributed to the pacifist foreign policy that may Japanese citizens celebrate.
The new policy would permit the deployment of Japanese combat forces abroad as part of “collective self-defense” operations. The move is seen as a key development in US efforts to counter growing Chinese influence in the Pacific Rim. The change may also strengthen coalitions against North Korea’s goring militarism.
What do you think? Should the Japanese government permit the deployment of combat forces abroad? Has Japan overcome the stigma of World War II? How should the Japanese government responds to the majority of Japanese citizens who oppose the new policy?