Australia backs Japan's drive to expand use of military
Published on Jun 12, 2014 2:52 PM
TOKYO (AFP) - Australia on Thursday backed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's drive to expand the use of Japan's military, hailing it as a "more normal defence posture", a day after Tokyo and Canberra stepped up ties.
Mr Abe is pushing to reinterpret Japan's strict pacifist constitution to allow its well-equipped armed forces to fight in defence of an ally, something currently barred.
But he faces opposition at home from those attached to the decades-old constitutional ideal, as well as criticism from China, which accuses him of seeking to remilitarise Japan.
"Australia can see great benefits to our country and to our region, should Japan continue to play a greater constructive role in global and regional peace and security," Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in Tokyo. "We certainly support Japan working towards a more normal defence posture to help it play a greater global and regional role," she told a news conference.
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