In: New York Times, 2017
Rich discusses whether public attitudes in Japan to maintaining strict constitutional constraints on use of its military 'Self-Defence Forces' are changing. (The postwar constitution includes a clause to renounce war and Japanese policy has been based on a refusal to fight outside its borders, although it is closely allied to the US.) The article notes the consistent pressure from Conservative Prime Minister Abe to strengthen Japanese military power through increasing the budget, and his role in passing new security laws in 2015 that permitted for the first time Japanese troops to take part in combat overseas. It also notes there was strong popular resistance to the new security laws and that there are regular protests against US bases in Okinawa.
See also: 'Stop War': Thousands protest in Japan over military expansion law change', RT World News, 30 June 2014.