"--IANS/EFE"
Tokyo, May 13 - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will Thursday announce his proposal to revise the country's pacifist constitution and consider taking part in armed conflicts, government officials said Tuesday.

The country's constitution prohibits the use of force in resolving international disputes and relinquishes maintaining its own army.

The revision proposed by Abe would put an end to the pacifist nature of Article 9 of the Japanese constitution framed under US occupation after the end of the Second World War.

The main objective of the revision is to enable Japan to help its allies in conflicts with third parties, an intention the Japanese prime minister has expressed on various occasions.

This stand was also backed by US President Barack Obama during his recent visit to the Asian country.

The aim is to provide a more active strategic role to Japan in the Pacific region amidst the military rise of China, a country with which Tokyo is engaged in a territorial dispute on the Senkaku Islands -.

Abe will present a document prepared by a panel of experts detailing how to modify the interpretation of the constitution, and will make a mention of the specific cases in which Japan will be able to provide assistance to its allies based on the concept of collective self-defensive in case of attacks.

The prime minister is scheduled to explain these measures in a press conference Thursday.

The reinterpretation of the constitution must be passed by the Japanese parliament which is divided on the issue with the New Komeito, the Buddhist party which forms the coalition government with Abe's Liberal Democratic Party, being opposed to the initiative.

--IANS/EFE

ab/vm


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