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WATCH: Japanese politicians get into massive brawl... over pacifism

The government took a surprise vote on a law that would allow Japan’s military to fight overseas.

Japan Security Bills Source: Eugene Hoshiko/PA Images

A ROW OVER Japan’s long history of pacifism and military non-aggression led to a huge brawl in the country’s parliament, earlier today.

Landmark new legislation would allow Japanese troops to fight overseas for the first time since World War II.

Opposition politicians were angered by the government’s surprise move to push the legislation through a committee today, and some descended on the committee chairman, attempting to take the microphone from him, and prevent a vote.

Under the planned changes, the military – known as the Self-Defense Forces – would have the option of going into battle to protect allies such as the United States even if there was no direct threat to Japan itself or its people.

Many in Japan see this as a violation of Article 9 of the Constitution, which calls for the Japanese people to “forever renounce war.”

Japan Security Bills Source: Shuji Kajiyama/PA

Protestors lined up outside the parliament building in Tokyo today, chanting anti-war slogans and carrying banners saying “Stop the Abe administration, that has gone out of control.”

The package of 11 bills was eventually passed by the committee, and sent to the upper house of parliament, where Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democrats have a majority.

Source: Associated Press/YouTube

Contains reporting by AFP.

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Dan MacGuill

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