Japan wants to join patrols of vital sea lanes with foreign forces and launch counter attacks if ships of other nations come under attackJapan should be able to exercise the right to collective self-defence, in the event that a “grave situation that concerns the security of Japan” emerges while Self-Defence Force (SDF) ships, for example, are participating in joint patrols of key sea lanes for transporting crude oil and other essential items, says an outline of a report to be compiled by a government panel.…If the new interpretation is adopted, the SDF would be allowed to participate in joint patrols of vital sea lanes with foreign forces and launch counter attacks if ships of other nations came under attack. Japan would also be able to provide arms and ammunition or logistical support to U.S. forces in combat areas should an emergency occur near Japan.
According to Kitaoka, the panel members unanimously agreed that there should be conditions for allowing Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defence. For example, it should be exercised only when a nation with which Japan has close ties has unjustly come under attack and asks for Japan’s cooperation.…
Singh reportedly praised Japan's behavior.
Japan should change the interpretation of its constitution to allow its military to defend not only its ally, the United States, but also other countries whose interests are closely intertwined with Tokyo, a key security adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.…The right to exercise collective self-defense should be applied "to any country which is very close to Japan", Shinichi Kitaoka, who is a member of a panel preparing a report for Abe on the topic, told Reuters in an interview this week.
"In other words, if that country is heavily damaged and that might bring a serious threat to Japan, then this is a situation in which Japan may consider exercising the right of collective self-defense."
Coming to the defense of Southeast Asian countries, several of which - like Japan - are engaged in territorial disputes with China, could be one of the scenarios that the change could address, Kitaoka said.
Another example Kitaoka cited was a threat to sea lanes of vital interest to Japan.
"If this is an attack on a Japanese vessel, this belongs to our right of individual self defense. If this invites big confusion, then this will belong to collective security under the U.N. umbrella," he said.
"If U.S. vessels or Australian vessels or Indian vessels which are protecting this sea lane were attacked and this has a very big impact on Japan, then Japan has the right to cooperate with those countries and remove it (the threat)."
Kitaoka rejected criticism that Japan's whittling away at constitutional limits on its military were making Article 9 meaningless. "Yes, you may argue that way. But the spirit will remain," he said.
"Japan will not have any weapons of mass destruction. Japan will not have weapons with long projection (capability) and Japan will limit the exercise of the right of collective self-defense to the minimum level."
"Please imagine a situation where a U.S. warship protecting waters around Japan comes under a missile attack when our Aegis ship is nearby," Mr. Abe told reporters in July. "If we don't shoot it down despite our capability, the American ship will sink and many young lives will be lost. Can we maintain the alliance under such a circumstance? That's among the real questions we face."
A high-ranking official at the Pentagon met with the Korean press corps in the United States on November 18 (local time) and said that the US is in full support of Japan’s right of collective self-defense, considering it as Japan’s effort to contribute to regional security. The term can be defined as a right to launch a counterattack when any of its allies is subject to military attacks.“The US government welcomes Japan’s endeavor to contribute to regional security and peace in Northeast Asia by normalizing its role,” he said, adding, “We are considering that Japan can enhance its deterrent through a change in the interpretation of the constitution and, no matter what decision it makes down the road, it should be respected as a decision of a sovereign state.”With regard to South Korea’s pessimistic view on the matter, he explained that he is well aware of the concerns, but Japan’s right of collective self-defense is a stronger deterrent against the challenges faced by the United States, South Korea, and Japan.