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Abe administration to introduce defense bills next year

JIJI

The administration won’t introduce a package of bills related to new national security policy, including legislation aimed at allowing Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense, until next year’s ordinary Diet session, informed sources said Monday.

The Abe team will need three to four months to prepare the bills, too long a time to have them ready by this autumn’s extraordinary Diet session, the sources said.

Amid strong public opposition over the change in constitutional interpretation, the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe thinks it advisable to push far back Diet discussions by holding off on the legislation package until after next the budget is passed in the spring, the sources said.

The administration and the ruling camp led by the Liberal Democratic Party initially planned to introduce the bills in stages.

The administration was to submit bills to allow the SDF to cope with the so-called gray-zone emergency situations stopping short of armed clashes and play greater roles in international cooperation, including U.N.-led peacekeeping operations, to an extra Diet session this autumn.

Bills related to collective self-defense were to be presented during next year’s regular Diet session, the sources said.

Abe said Sunday that he hopes to handle the wide-ranging bills in a bundle.