Japan's Security Bills Raise Hope In Asia To Rein In China, But Hurdles Remain

Japan's security bills raise hope in Asia to rein in China, but hurdles remainAs Japan has taken a major step in its postwar security policy toward the defense of other countries even if it is not under direct attack itself, Southeast Asian nations are paying great attention to the move as a potential help in reining in China's recent muscle-flexing, but there are limits to what Japanese troops can do in Asia, experts say.

"It is an era where a country can no longer defend itself on its own," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a press conference following his Cabinet's approval of bills on Thursday for a drastic change in Japan's exclusively defense-oriented security policy. With the remarks, the prime minister underscored the need to team up with the international community.

Facing Beijing's growing assertiveness at sea and in airspace as well as North Korea's nuclear ambitions, Japan has not only fortified its alliance with the United States through their new defense guidelines, but sought cooperation with other nations including those in Southeast Asia fretting about China's attempts to change the status quo by coercion through its recent land reclamation activities in disputed waters.