U.S. President Bill Clinton is concerned about the speed of Diet approval of legislation concerning revised Japan-U.S. defense guidelines, Rust Deming, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state, told executives of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party Tuesday morning.In a meeting with LDP Secretary General Yoshiro Mori and policy affairs chief Yukihiko Ikeda, Deming said the legislature does not seem to be giving the defense guidelines priority and expressed dissatisfaction with the delay in Diet procedures, Mori told reporters.The government submitted the bills to the Diet in April, but no debate has been held, partly due to the negligible chance of their passage in the current Diet session before financial stabilization bills are put in place. The revised defense guidelines would enable Japan to offer noncombat support to U.S. forces engaged in military activities in areas surrounding Japan.Mori told Deming that his party acknowledges the importance of the guidelines and said the bills will be given highest priority after the financial bills are passed. The LDP hopes to have the Diet begin debate on the bills in an extraordinary session expected to be held in November.
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