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‘U.S. not in full support of Japan’s military expansion’

By Korea Herald

Published : Oct. 14, 2013 - 20:09

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Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said Monday that Washington’s recent support for Tokyo’s push for the right to collective self-defense is still within the confines of the U.S.-Japan security pact.

“It is not that the U.S. has given a blank check to Japan. It is to allow (the pursuit of the right) within the limits of their security pact,” he told the parliamentary foreign affairs committee during a government interpellation session.

“In the remarks the U.S. side made, there is an expression pointing out (it would be pursued) within the confines of their security agreement.”

Yun was referring to the remarks Washington made during a joint press conference with Tokyo after the two-plus-two meeting of their defense and diplomacy chiefs earlier this month.

At their meeting, Washington officially supported the Shinzo Abe government’s push to alter the interpretation of its war-renouncing constitution and allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense ― the use of force to respond to an attack on an ally, such as the U.S.

The two allies agreed to revise the 1997 guidelines for their defense cooperation by the end of next year, increase security collaboration in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond, and enhance the realignment of U.S. troops in Japan.

Touching on Japan’s push to increase its military role that pushes the limits of the country’s war-renouncing constitution, Yun said Japan’s pursuit of rearmament should proceed in a “transparent” way that can address neighboring states’ security concerns.

“There are many countries which are concerned about Japan’s rearmament. The situation where its rearmament goes unnoticed will not come,” he said.

By Song Sang-ho (sshluck@heraldcorp.com)