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Half of Japanese against expanding defense powers: poll

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The Japanese public is not behind Abe's push for enhanced defense powers.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- The public is generally skeptical of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to permit a larger military role for Japan, with his planned steps toward enhanced defense powers attracting more naysayers than proponents in the latest Nikkei survey.

     Asked whether the government should allow the country to exercise the right to collective self-defense, or use force to rescue allies under attack, just 34% said it should, while 50% opposed it, according to the poll conducted Friday through Sunday.

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