(CNN) Japan's upper chamber of parliament early Saturday gave final approval to a set of controversial bills allowing the country's military to engage in overseas combat assignments -- under certain circumstances -- for the first time since World War II. The lower chamber approved the bills in July.
The historic vote, which could take place Friday, marks the most dramatic shift in Japanese military policy in 70 years, and has triggered the largest protests seen in Tokyo in decades.
A scuffle broke out Thursday as opposition lawmakers in a special committee of the Upper House attempted to delay a vote. But the bill ultimately passed the committee, clearing a key hurdle and setting the stage for a vote on the measure.
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