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US experts welcome Japan's decision on defense

A former US policymaker has welcomed Japan's decision to reinterpret the Constitution to allow the country to exercise the right to collective self-defense.

Former Deputy State Secretary Richard Armitage spoke to reporters in Tokyo on Monday. He joined a news conference held by a group of US and Japanese experts on the 2 countries' security alliance.

Armitage said that in the past he feared Japan's ban on collective self-defense would prevent Japanese self-defense force ships from helping US vessels that are under attack from enemies.

He said he believes the Japanese Cabinet decision will invigorate US-Japan ties.

Harvard University Professor Joseph Nye said that under the new policy, the US and Japan can shape an environment in which Chinese leaders will be more cautious and act responsibly.

Armitage and Nye called on Japan to enable its right of collective self-defense in a 2000 report. They are planning to work with Japanese experts to compile a report by the end of next year on new challenges to the security alliance.

Jul. 14, 2014 - Updated 16:31 UTC