TOKYO (AP) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is moving ahead this week with legislation that would boost the military's international role, in a significant shift of the country's pacifist policies.
Abe's ruling coalition is set to reach formal agreement Monday on a package of bills that would allow the military to do more, including the removal of geographic restrictions on where it can operate.
The proposals are expected to be approved by the Cabinet later this week for submission to parliament. The legislation is likely to pass, given the solid majority held by Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner, Komeito.
The changes would allow Japan to defend its allies for the first time since World War II, and make it easier to provide logistical support for other militaries and participate in international peacekeeping operations.
Japan's military is limited to a self-defense role by a pacifist constitution adopted after World War II. Abe's Cabinet approved a contentious reinterpretation of the constitution last July that expands what is allowed under self-defense.