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Japan PM moves closer to winning support for looser limits on military

Published on Jun 13, 2014 1:07 PM

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe moved closer to easing constitutional curbs that have kept Japan's military from fighting abroad since World War Two after the ruling party's dovish coalition partner agreed to consider a compromise proposal.

An agreement would be a big step toward achieving Mr Abe's goal of loosening the limits of the post-war, pacifist constitution.

The New Komeito, the junior party in Mr Abe's ruling bloc, is wary of dropping a ban on sending Japan's military to aid a friendly nation under attack, but on Friday, party officials agreed to consider a proposal that would allow the change while theoretically limiting cases in which it could be implemented.

"I want to discuss this thoroughly within the party," New Komeito deputy chief Kazuo Kitagawa told reporters after the latest round of talks, at which his ruling Liberal Democratic Party counterpart Masahiko Komura submitted the new proposal.

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