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The three ruling coalition parties are likely to submit a bill to lift a ban on Japan’s participation in peacekeeping forces in a review of the Peacekeeping Operation Law during the extraordinary session of the Diet in September, a Japanese daily newspaper reported Saturday.

The Tokyo Shimbun said the Liberal Democratic Party, the New Komeito party and the New Conservative Party will submit the bill to ease the “five principles” for Japan’s participation in such operations.

The New Komeito party, which had been cautious about reviewing the law, agreed to the move on the grounds that it would enable Japan to make active contributions to the international community, the Tokyo Shimbun said.

The ruling coalition parties want Japan to be permitted to dispatch forces to an area of conflict simply with the agreement of the recipient country.

Under the current five principles, Japan can send forces only if all parties to the conflict agree and a ceasefire is established.

The three parties are also considering allowing the use of weapons by Japanese peacekeepers operating abroad to protect fellow Japanese as well as others nationals.

The current rules only allow Japanese peacekeepers to use weapons to protect themselves.

The present laws regulating Japan’s peacekeeping operations also state that Japan cannot take part in the principle aspects of peacekeeping operations, such as monitoring ceasefires or disarmament.

The Self-Defense Forces are subsequently only permitted to provide logistic support, such as medical care and transport.

These restrictions were introduced by the government after criticism at home and abroad of the SDF being dispatched overseas. However, it is accepted that the restrictions also hamper Japan’s peacekeeping operations, the daily said.

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