Three defense-related panels of the Liberal Democratic Party agreed at a joint meeting Thursday to submit a bill to upgrade the Defense Agency to ministry status during the ongoing Diet session.

Whether the Diet will begin deliberating the bill remains uncertain, however, as there is still opposition toward the plan within the ruling coalition.

The legislation is also considered relatively less important than other bills on the table, LDP lawmakers said.

“The Environment Agency became a ministry because environmental issues are important. It is not right as a nation not to make (the Defense Agency) a ministry now that defense issues have grown so important,” House of Representatives member Takeshi Noda said in promoting the legislation at the meeting.

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