TOKYO, June 19 -- Japan's ruling coalition confirmed Thursday that the current cabinet session, which will end Sunday, will not approve Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's attempt to make Japan exercise the collective self-defense rights, saying they need more time to continue discussion.
The bloc made the decision after a meeting between Abe, also president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), and Natsuo Yamaguchi, head of small ruling New Komeito Party. The ruling coalition is at odds on the controversial issue as the New Komeito maintains caution on changing the nature of the country's pacifist constitution.
The Japanese supreme law bans its Self-Defense Forces (SDF) engaging fights outside Japan but Abe and his administration seek to reinterpret the law to allow the SDF to exercise the rights to collective defense in a move to defend its allies overseas. However, the New Komeito considered that the reinterpretation goes contrary to legislative process. "The ruling parties are now in talks on security, and we confirmed that will continue even after the end of the session," Yamaguchi was quoted as saying after meeting with Abe, adding that they have no timetable on the issue.
The controversial collective defense rights triggered strong opposition in the Japanese public as most think the rights will drag Japan into war and violate the Article 9 of the constitution that makes Japan a war-renouncing country.
Neighboring countries also concern over Japan's move on the issue as the Abe's administration is running fast on beefing up Japan's military capability and taking a tough stance on disputes with its neighbors.