Japanese Soldiers Might Fight Abroad

September 16, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. overseas /oʊ vərˈsiz/ (adv.) – over, across, or beyond the sea
Example: He works overseas to support his family.

2. doctrine /ˈdɒk trɪn/ (n.) – a government policy concerning foreign relations
Example: The new doctrine will help improve the relations between our country and the United States.

3. ally /æl aɪ/ (n.) – a country that offers military support to another country
Example: The United States and Russia were allies during World War II.

4. override /ˌoʊ vərˈraɪd/ (v.) – to cancel or to make something invalid
Example: The judge might override the decision.

5. supplement /ˈsʌp ləˌmɛnt/ (v.) – to complete or add to something
Example: Soldiers supplement their diet with multivitamins.


Read the text below.
For the first time since World War II, Japan might soon send its soldiers to fight overseas.

This might be possible through a legislation that was approved in July by the Japanese parliament’s lower house. The legislation, which consists of 11 security-related bills, will allow Japan to send soldiers abroad in cases of foreign conflicts. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe highly promotes this legislation, saying that helping allies such as the United States is under the doctrine called collective self-defense. This doctrine, Prime Minister Abe said, will play a huge role in the country’s safety and protection.

Many lawmakers oppose this legislation. According to polls, majority of the Japanese people are also against it. Some legal scholars even branded the legislation unconstitutional.

While it has been approved by the parliament’s lower house, the bill still needs approval from the upper house, majority of which are Prime Minister Abe’s allies. A Japanese politics professor said that the opposition can still prevent the bill from being passed. Should the upper house disapprove the legislation, the government can still override the decision to push for its approval.

With the legislation, the Japan Self-Defense Forces will be able to work closely with the American forces. The Japanese military can thus provide logistical support and military backup should the American forces engage in international conflicts.

This legislation also supplements the guidelines under the bilateral agreement that Japan and the United States signed this year. The agreement states that the armed forces of Japan and the United States should work together.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree with the legislation? Why or why not?
·         What can you say about the ties between Japan and the United States? Please discuss your answer.

Discussion B

·         Do you think allies can turn into enemies and enemies can turn into allies? Why or why not?
·         How can two countries improve their relationship with each other?

September 16, 2015