SEOUL, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Japan's top military commander on Wednesday agreed to South Korea's call for no exercise of the right to collective self-defense on the Korean Peninsula without any request or permission from South Korea, local media reported Thursday.
Three Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) chairmen of South Korea, the United States and Japan, including Admiral Choi Yun-hee, General Martin Dempsey and General Shigeru Iwasaki, met in Hawaii Wednesday on the sidelines of the biannual Rim of the Pacific multinational naval exercises.
During the meeting, Adm. Choi said that Japan's collective self- defense right must not be exercised in any case without request and permission from South Korea although the exercise is for Japan 's defense, noting the ban on the exercise will be imposed on military actions in the Korean Peninsula's operating areas and actions influencing the Peninsula's operating areas.
General Dempsey and General Iwasaki agreed to Choi's comments, Seoul's JCS was quoted as saying by local media.
Choi's comments came after Japan's cabinet, led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, decided Tuesday to reinterpret the country's 67-year-old pacifist constitution to allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense.
Critics said the reinterpretation may allow Japan to actually wage a war of aggression, as seen in the militaristic Japan in the early 20th century, in excuse of defending its close allies.
The Abe cabinet provoked South Korea on June 20 by unveiling the results of its review on the Kono Statement, which acknowledged and apologized for Japan's wartime sex slavery. The results said Seoul intervened in the wording of the 1993 apology, indicating it was the consequence of closed-door political dealings.
The trilateral meeting, which was held at the invitation of the United States, also raised controversy in Seoul as it was held amid soured ties between South Korea and Japan.
It was the first meeting among top military commanders of the three nations. Defense ministers of the three allies meet every year on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue.