July 15, 2015 / 3:35 AM / 2 years ago

Japan security bills approved by lower house committee

TOKYO (Reuters) - Legislation to implement a dramatic change in Japanese defense policy that could allow troops to fight abroad for the first time since World War Two was approved by a lower house panel on Wednesday, despite opposition from a majority of ordinary voters.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government says the changes, welcomed by ally Washington, are vital to meet new challenges such as from a rising China. Opponents say the revisions violate the pacifist constitution and could entangle Japan in U.S.-led conflicts around the globe.

Reporting by Linda Sieg; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim

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