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Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi said on Friday that he would seek to lift legal restrictions so that Japan can fully participate in U.N. peacekeeping operations, in an extraordinary Diet session expected to begin in October.

In a policy debate held at the Japan National Press Club with his two rivals in the Liberal Democratic Party presidential race — Taku Yamasaki and Koichi Kato — Obuchi said if the current ruling parties and New Komeito, their future coalition partner, reach an agreement, the government is ready to work on the issue.

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