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Onodera leaves for US to explain Cabinet decision

Japan's Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera has left for the United States to explain the decision to reinterpret the Constitution to enable Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense.

Onodera started his 8-day tour on Sunday. His itinerary includes visits to US bases and a speech at a think tank.

He will tell Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in their meeting scheduled for Friday that the government will prepare new legislation in response to last week's Cabinet decision.

He wants to reaffirm that this decision will be reflected in a review of the bilateral defense cooperation guidelines. The 2 nations plan to complete the review by the end of the year.

It appears that the Japanese government is sending Onodera to the US soon after the major change in defense policy to show that the 2 countries are boosting their security cooperation.

Jul. 6, 2014 - Updated 15:40 UTC