Ministers of parliament in Japan broke out into a physical brawl during a discussion whether to end the country’s policy of pacifism, with no sense of irony.
With an estimated 13,000 people outside parliament in Tokyo, tensions were high in a usually sedate Japanese parliament. MPs discussed a bill which would allow Japanese troops to fight abroad for the fight abroad for the first time since the end of World War Two, 70 years ago.
The current Japanese constitution, which was originally imposed by the United States only allows the military to take part in combat as self-defence – the military is in Japan is actually known as the ‘Self-defense forces’.
Despite strong public opposition, the upper house approved the bill – which expected to sail through the final approval process in the lower house, where Prime Minister Shinzō Abe holds a two-thirds majority.