The Japan-U.S. defense cooperation guidelines, which are to be reviewed this fall, do not specify the geographical areas in which Japan can carry out defense maneuvers, Taku Yamasaki, chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Policy Affairs Research Council said Aug. 20.
Yamasaki also said the guidelines will not affect existing security frameworks such as the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. He added that Japan will adopt legislation to effectively honor the guidelines.
But after meeting with his counterparts from the Social Democratic Party and New Party Sakigake, Yamasaki told reporters that the revision does not require Diet approval.
LDP officials indicated that they expect an agreement over the revision between the three ruling allies on Aug. 22.
While the LDP policy chief said that the area in which Japan will cooperate will not be defined in the revision of the guidelines, the SDP demands that the geographical scope of defense cooperation be kept within the Far East.
The Japanese government, however, has been referring to defense areas north of the Philippines.
The SDP’s Kazuo Oikawa said it will be difficult to meet the Aug. 22 deadline because there are some points, mainly the cooperation boundaries, that the SDP cannot approve.
Yamasaki said the boundaries should be left vague.
Meanwhile, defense sources said Aug. 20 that the Defense Agency plans to send F-15 fighters and pilots for training in the United States.
The Air Self-Defense Force fighters will also undertake midair refueling training for the first time before flying to the U.S.
The dispatch will be the first time that Japanese fighters have taken part in an exercise overseas since the end of World War II.