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The showdown that obscured Japan's national security debate

Opposition Democratic Party legislator Yukio Edano, bottom, explains a no-confidence motion against the cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, top, in the Diet Friday.

TOKYO -- After three nights of high-stakes drama, the upper house of the Japanese parliament finally passed controversial national security bills early Saturday morning, enacting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ambitious measures to expand Japan's defense roles overseas.

     "It is legislation that is necessary to protect the people's lives and peaceful living and to prevent wars," said Abe after the legislation's passage. "Japan now has a legislative framework necessary to maintain peace."

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