Tokyo Japan's ruling party marked its 50th anniversary Tuesday with a proposed constitutional change that could give the nation a more assertive international military presence.
The pacifist constitution's first alteration since its adoption in 1947 would create an official role for the Japanese armed forces. The language of the revision would then allow those forces to assist military allies and help with armed international peacekeeping, according to outside experts and members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
Japan maintains a small domestic self-defense force under the current constitution, which renounces war and bars the country from using military force in international disputes.
The proposed revision by the LDP still renounces war but allows the nation to use its armed forces for self-defense and international peacekeeping.
The LDP also has long campaigned to completely replace the constitution, which was drafted by U.S. military occupiers after World War II.