Japan Ruling Bloc Signs Off on Security Legislation, Public Split

Japanese ruling party officials signed off on Monday on bills to implement a drastic change in security policy that would expand the role of the nation's military in the U.S.-Japan alliance and allow it to fight abroad for the first time since World War Two. The planned changes were reflected in new U.S.-Japan defense guidelines unveiled last month as the allies face challenges such as China's increased military assertiveness. A survey by the Yomiuri newspaper published on Monday showed 46 percent backed the changes compared with 41 percent who were opposed.