TOKYO, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday it is necessary to interpret appropriately the country's pacifist constitution in a move to allow Japan's Self- Defense Forces to exercise the collective self-defense rights.
Abe made the remark in a press conference that marks the end of the 150-day Diet session through Sunday. "To develop legislation aimed at protecting the lives of citizens will lead to an increase in Japan's deterrent capabilities and reduce the possibility of being dragged into a war," the prime minister was quoted as saying.
However, Abe's attempt triggered concerns from the public that the collective defense rights will make Japan engage in war overseas.
Japan's ruling coalition is also at odds as the small ruling New Komeito Party maintained cautious on the controversial issue.
According to the latest national survey, more than 50 percent of respondents oppose Japan's exercise of the collective self- defense rights.