The upper house of Japan's parliament is expected to enact into law the month legislation that could enable Japanese troops to fight overseas for the first time since World War Two.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says the changes are needed to address new challenges such as China's growing military assertiveness. Critics say the laws violate the pacifist constitution and could entangle Japan in U.S.-led conflicts.
Below are key points of the legislation, which consists of one new law and revisions to 10 existing laws.
'Limited' collective self-defense
This allows Japan to exercise its right to collective self-defense by deploying its military to respond to an attack against a friendly foreign country under three conditions: the attack results in a threat to Japan's survival, no other appropriate means are available and the use of force is limited to the minimum necessary.
As examples, Abe has cited defending a U.S. ship attacked while transporting Japanese citizens evacuating a conflict zone, or protecting a U.S. destroyer conducting surveillance against a possible missile attack on Japan.