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Thousands rally against greater Japanese arms role

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Posted: Monday, June 30, 2014 9:12 am | Updated: 1:08 pm, Mon Jun 30, 2014.

TOKYO (AP) — Thousands of people have protested in Tokyo against an expected decision by Japan's government to allow its military a larger international role.

Several thousand people demonstrated outside Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's office on Monday evening, demanding that his Cabinet scrap a plan to allow the military to help defend other nations by reinterpreting the country's war-renouncing constitution.

The Cabinet is expected to announce the decision Tuesday. It is one of the biggest changes in Japan's security policy since World War II. Previously the constitution has been interpreted as allowing the use of arms only for Japan's own self-defense, and critics say the change undermines the charter.

Abe says the revision is needed because of China's military expansion and missile and nuclear threats from North Korea.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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