Japan approved the country’s biggest step away from its U.S.-drafted constitution since the end of World War II on Tuesday. The cabinet has adopted a reinterpretation of the clause in its 1947 constitution stating that Japan must “forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation.” Drafted by the U.S. in the aftermath of World War II, it has been interpreted as a ban on military involvement to resolve international conflicts. But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been pushing for change, citing military threats from nearby China and North Korea. Now, Japan will allow “collective self-defense,” the use of military force to defend allies under threat. Many Japanese citizens are displeased with the changing military role. In fact, one man was driven to set himself on fire to protest it on Sunday.
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