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Politics

Japan to offer broader role under defense pact with US

TOKYO -- Japan will agree to play a greater role in a new security pact with the U.S. in light of its decision in July to expand national defense powers.

     Tokyo and Washington are working to update their defense cooperation guidelines by the end of the year. An interim report due out next week will include a clause that promises military cooperation in the event Japan or a nation close to Japan comes under attack.

     The document will clarify Japan's stance that it is ready to use force to protect its peace and stability even when the country is not directly under attack, a defense power added after the government's reinterpretation of the constitution.

     The report will also lay out a policy to address various possibilities, from peacetime to emergencies. Specific areas of cooperation could include intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, missile defense, the use and protection of facilities, operations to ensure the effectiveness of economic sanctions, transportation, as well as the evacuation of noncombatants to safe areas.

     In terms of space and cybersecurity, the two countries will focus on sharing information.

     The new areas of cooperation appear to be aimed at countering China, which is expanding military operations into new fields. It will also state that Japan will stick to its basic military policy focused on defense and a commitment against nuclear weapons.

(Nikkei)

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