On 28 April 2015, USA and Japan unveiled a new pact aimed at overhauling the two countries’ security arrangements and paving the way for a more robust participation of the Japanese Self-Defence Forces in disaster relief, peacekeeping operations, missile defence and other military missions.
The agreement was the result of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s drive to shed many off-the-limits placed on Japan’s armed forces under its postwar, pacifist constitution. The new guidelines were unveiled at the start of Mr. Abe’s visit to USA.
The agreement—called the Joint Defence Guidelines—comes as the U.S., Japan and other American allies in Asia look for ways to address China’s military modernization and its more aggressive territorial claims in the South and East China seas.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said the guidelines represent a historic transition for Japan and its alliance with USA.
Officials said that most important, the new guidelines will remove any geographic limits on the Japanese forces, allowing Japan’s military—with permission of its Parliament—to participate in defence operations around the globe.