WASHINGTON, July 1, 2014 —
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel today welcomed the Japanese government’s new policy regarding collective self-defense, saying it will enable the Japan Self-Defense Forces to engage in a wider range of operations and make the U.S.-Japan alliance even more effective.
In a reinterpretation of a war-renouncing provision of Japan’s 1947 Constitution, the Japanese Cabinet approved new rules that would allow the country to exercise the right to collective self-defense.
“This decision is an important step for Japan as it seeks to make a greater contribution to regional and global peace and security,” Hagel said in a statement. “The new policy also complements our ongoing efforts to modernize our alliance through the revision of our bilateral guidelines for defense cooperation.”
Hagel said he looks forward to discussing the decision when Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera visits Washington next week.
“The United States has an enduring interest in the Asia-Pacific's peace and prosperity, and our alliance with Japan is critical to our strategy in the region,” the secretary said in his statement.