Philippines welcomes Japan’s landmark legislation allowing Japanese military fight overseas

The Philippines on Saturday welcomed Japan’s landmark legislation that will allow its military to fight overseas for the first time in 70 years and respond to threats against its allies. After its defeat in World War II, Japan has adopted a pacifist constitution that forbids it to use force in resolving conflicts, except in self-defense.

“The Philippines welcomes the passage of legislation on national security by the National Diet of Japan. We look forward to efforts that strengthen our Strategic Partnership with Japan and those that would contribute further to shared goals of greater peace, stability, and mutual prosperity in the international community,” Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said in a statement.

Japan’s new law, heralding a shift in Japanese defense policy, came amid rising sea tensions between Japan and China on the East China Sea, and Southeast Asian nations like the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia with China in West Philippine Sea.

“We welcome the passage of measures that will enable Japan to play a more active role in promoting regional peace and security,” Department of National Defense spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez on Saturday.

“We welcome the passage of legislation on national security by Japan’s National Diet,” Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan. “As Japan is our strategic partner, we look forward to efforts to strengthen such to further our mutual goals of greater peace and stability in the international community.”