SEOUL, July 1 (Xinhua) -- South Korea on Tuesday expressed concerns over the Japanese cabinet's reinterpretation of its pacifist constitution, which will allow Tokyo to exercise collective self-defense right, urging Japan to hold fast the spirit of its constitution.
"The Japanese government changed the prior constitutional interpretation of ban on Japan's exercise of collective self- defense right into the limited permission. It equals to a great change in Japan's security policy that has been maintained under its post-war constitution, and our government closely monitors it, " Seoul's foreign ministry said in a statement.
The ministry urged the Japanese government, headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, to adhere to the basic spirit of the 67-year- old constitution in enacting detailed laws on the exercise of the collective self-defense right.
It also urged the Abe cabinet to seek the enactment in a way that will not endanger regional peace and stability.
The statement came after the Japanese cabinet rubber-stamped a resolution on the reinterpretation of the pacifist constitution, drawn up in May 1947 by the United States after Japan's beat in World War II.
Under the constitution's Article 9, Japan promised to "forever " renounce war as its sovereign right, vowing not to maintain army, navy and air forces. Since the Self-Defense Forces, Japan's de- facto military force, was established in 1954, some ultra-right Japanese politicians pushed for the revision of the Article 9.
The resolution, ratified by the Abe cabinet, set three conditions that would enable the exercise of the collective self- defense right such as when there are "clear dangers" to the lives of its people and their rights due to armed attacks on Japan or " countries with close ties."
The ambiguous conditions will enable Japan to take military action to defend other countries even though Japan itself is not under attack, leaving the Article 9 actually scrapped.