New Party Sakigake, one of the non-Cabinet allies of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, approved bills April 23 that would implement updated guidelines for Japan’s defense cooperation with U.S. forces.
Sakigake made the decision at its executive council. The party, however, still wants clarification of a clause that requires cooperation from local governments and the private sector in giving U.S. forces logistical support. “Defense Agency officials explained that it would be illegal if the local governments refused to cooperate. But it is not clear what would happen after that,” Sakigake chief Akiko Domoto said.
The government and the LDP want to send the bills to the Diet Tuesday. With Sakigake’s approval, pressure is mounting for the LDP’s other ally, the Social Democratic Party, to make up its mind. The SDP is still examining the bills.
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