Japanese troop of Self-Defense Force (SDF) went to South Sudan to join the UN peacekeepers.
It is for the first time for Japanese army to go abroad for the military purpose since the World War II.
The Straits Times: Japanese troops land in South Sudan for first overseas combat mission since World War II
First of all, there is broad discussion regarding calling SDF as "army," because the Constitution of Japan says Japan has abolished the possession of any kind of armies for combat use. But internationally SDF is recognized as an army, and its equipment is superior to many other official troops.
So far, SDF has participated in peacekeeping operations. But its role was limited to aiding the official force of foreign countries, without proceeding into a battlefield. Nowadays, however, it is difficult to distinguish battlefields from other areas. And it was irrational SDF cannot take a counter against the enemy when members see that allies are attacked in front of them.
Therefore, Japanese government intended to give the right of collective self-defence. If collective self-defence is approved, SDF can interfere the enemy when allies are threatened. Through latest some years, the government achieved the amendment of relevant legislation to authorize the use of the military power of SDF.
My past entry: Japan has right of collective self-defense
My past entry: Japanese military policy amended
I believe this idea is correct. Some people are afraid that Japan would begin an intrusive war again. At present, it is nonsense, I think. Most Japanese still have strongly negative emotion to the war. Also, Japan has no power, resource, or money to threaten foreign nations. In addition, SDF is a highly sophisticated organization that it is extremely difficult for any persons to compromise it.
Of course, supervising the activity of SDF and any other military action for maintaining civilian control is indispensable. It should be deliberately examined whether peacekeeping operations by the UN, the US, and other big nations are really beneficial for local citizens. Nowadays, no one knows how to make a peaceful world, unfortunately.