MOSCOW, February 2 (Sputnik) — Japan does not need to impose geographical limits on the deployment of its military in order to defend the country's allies, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday.
"It's not about whether we can apply [the use of the right to collective self-defense] because the location is near, or we shouldn't out of geographical considerations," Abe was quoted as saying by Kyodo news agency.
Abe also unveiled plans to make the Japanese parliament's approval mandatory for exercising the right to self-defense.
In July 2014, Abe announced that the Japan Self-Defense Forces would be able to fight abroad for the first time since 1945, but reiterated that Tokyo would not “change the principle that we cannot send troops overseas."
Last week, Japanese freelance reporter Kenji Goto was executed by Islamic State (IS) militants. In the end of January, another Japanese national, Haruna Yukawa, was killed by the IS radicals. The incidents triggered Japanese residents' unhappiness with the purely defensive nature of the country's military.
Following the killings, Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said the country plans to provide full security to Japan Self-Defense Forces troops stationed abroad, including within the framework of UN peacekeeping operations.
The Islamic State is a jihadist group notorious for its human rights abuses. In 2014, it took vast territories in Iraq and Syria under its control and proclaimed an Islamic caliphate. The insurgents have kidnapped and killed several foreign nationals, including military personnel, aid workers and journalists.