With Japan’s House of Representatives passing a legislative package that is critical for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s national security agenda, the bills now go to the House of Councillors for consideration and a vote. There is little doubt that the bills will be enacted by the end of the current Diet session on Sept. 27. However, the deliberative process on the bills so far has left a critical issue – just how much Japan is willing to share the risk with other countries to maintain the existing international order – almost totally undiscussed.
The proposed legislative package is the biggest attempt to modernize the legal framework on which Japan’s national security policy is based. The two basic questions that the proposed legislation posed for the political leaders are whether the existing legal framework suffices for Japan to protect itself in the rapidly changing security environment, and if not, how much change in the legal framework is necessary?
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