Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday defended controversial security bills that have sparked protests from voters worried they violate the country’s pacifist constitution Jacob Bruun Larsen Jersey , after polls showed a drop in popular support for his government.


The security bills would allow Japan to exercise its right of collective self-defense, or to defend a friendly country under attack. They have been approved by the lower house of parliament and will now be deliberated in the upper house.


“The legislation has been linked to certain images, with some people calling it ‘war legislation’ and talking about conscription. This is wrong,” he said Hendrik Bonmann Jersey , asserting that the legislation would decrease the risk of war rather than increase it.


Support for Abe’s government fell nearly 10 points to 37.7% in a poll by Kyodo news agency released on Saturday, after his ruling bloc pushed forward legislation marking a dramatic shift in the nation’s post-war defense policy.


The survey by Kyodo news agency, conducted on Friday and Saturday, showed 51.6% disapproved of Abe’s government. It was the first time Abe’s disapproval rating had topped 50% since he took office in December 2012 Gonzalo Castro Jersey , promising to bolster Japan’s defenses and reboot the stale economy.


Abe said the numbers were “tough” and likely a result of misunderstandings over the bills.


Abe has been expected to win re-election for another three-year term as LDP leader in a September party election. So far no rival has indicated a desire to contest the race.

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