TOKYO, JAPAN –  A law to defend the US and allied troops will take effect one week from now. March 29, following a Japanese government cabinet resolution last Tuesday.

The new security legislation gives a green light for the first time since the end of WWII to Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to engage armed conflicts overseas.

JS Atago (DDG 177) sails in formation with U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Adam Thomas

Likewise, the new laws will allow the Japan Self-Defense Force to defend the United States and close allies if under attack by a hostile nation and additionally allow Japanese Forces to deploy internationally through a less lumbering procedure.

Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano

Japan’s top military leader, Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, said the Japanese military is now ready to fight and defend side by side with a friendly country like the Philippines, United States and other allies abroad.

He said, “we already anticipated that China would turn out to be increasingly assertive when our forces start to conduct patrols and surveillance activities there in the South China Sea.”

Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, Japan’s chief of staff of the Joint Staff Council and Self-Defense Forces, speaks to reporters at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC on July 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI

Speaking in Washington, Kawano said there had been “talk” of Japan conducting such patrols in the South China Sea, including anti-submarine activities.

“In any case, our position on this is that we consider this as a potential future issue to be viewed as relying upon how things work out,” he told the Center for Strategic and International Studies research organization.

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Kawano prior met with his U.S. partner, General Martin Dempsey, executive of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and talked about implementation of updated bilateral defense guidelines agreed this year, a joint statement said. – Carl E.

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