Japan's new policy on military action would allow its forces to come tothe aid of a US naval shipunder attack, Tokyo'sdefense minister said Friday.
In a visit to Washington,Itsunori Onodera cited the hypothetical scenario as he sought to explain theJapanese government's controversial decision to ease decades-long restrictionson the country's military.
If US warships were sent to defend Japan,and those ships were attacked, the Japanese constitution was interpretedto say we could not help that ship, Onodera told an audience at theCenter for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.
But taking action to assist an ally was what an ally should naturallydo, he said through an interpreter. That's how this change inpolicy should be understood.
We believe this will dramatically deepen our ties with the United States, Onodera said.