The government has moved forward on draft versions of bills to govern Japan’s response to a foreign military attack, with Cabinet endorsement eyed for April 16, according to government sources.

If the bills are endorsed, the government will submit them to the Diet during the current session, the sources said.

The planned legislation was given to the ruling bloc’s task force on security affairs on Monday.

The question of whether to include legal guidelines to cope with terrorism and spy ships in waters near Japan will be relegated to working-level talks within the ruling bloc because member New Komeito has expressed concern for such inclusion, they said.

The other two ruling bloc members are the Liberal Democratic Party and the New Conservative Party.

The government agreed to quickly map out a joint manual encompassing the Defense Agency, National Police Agency and Japan Coast Guard so as to cope with terrorism and spy ships effectively.

The draft, which would require Diet approval immediately after the government decides on a basic policy at a Cabinet meeting to ensure civilian control, defines aggression as an attack “against Japan from outside or imminent threat of such an attack.”

The draft for the revised Self-Defense Forces Law says the Defense Agency chief would be able to order the SDF to build defensive facilities to cope with emergency situations provided the agency chief obtains the prime minister’s approval. SDF personnel would be able to use arms in this respect to protect themselves.

A bill to revise the Security Council of Japan establishment law is aimed at revitalizing the functions of the council by establishing a special panel headed by the chief Cabinet secretary.

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