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  1. Japan Main Page
  2. Japan Expands Its Empire
  3. Japan Tests Its Military Might
  4. Economic Recovery Is Followed by Deep Recession
  5. Succession of Prime Ministers Meet Only Fleeting Popularity
  6. Scandals Taint Leadership
  7. Tsunami Devastates Japan and Causes Nuclear Disaster
  8. Tension Increases with Asian Neighbors Over Islands
  9. Noda Wins Party Leadership Vote, but Faces Strong Opposition
  10. Shinzo Abe Becomes Prime Minister Again in Late 2012
  11. Ongoing Fukushima Leak Declared an Emergency
  12. Japan Lifts Decades Old Arms Ban
  13. China, South Korea, and Japan Hold First Foreign Minister Talks in Three Years
  14. Military Legislation Sparks Protests
Military Legislation Sparks Protests

In July 2015, Parliament's lower house approved legislation that would allow Japan's military to participate in foreign conflicts in a limited capacity for the first time since World War II. Members of the opposition refused to vote, leaving the session in Parliament over the issue. Meanwhile, the new bill sparked the largest public protests since the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the United States supported the bill. However, China did not, calling it a threat to peace in the region. Foreign Ministry Spokesperson for China, Hua Chunying, said in a statement, ?We solemnly urge the Japanese side to draw hard lessons from history, stick to the path of peaceful development, respect the major security concerns of its Asian neighbors, and refrain from jeopardizing China's sovereignty and security interests or crippling regional peace and stability."

The legislation would now move to Parliament's upper house. The bill would be considered there for sixty days before a vote.

See also Encyclopedia: Japan .
U.S. State Dept. Country Notes: Japan
Japanese Statistics Bureau www.stat.go.jp .

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