The opposition-controlled Upper House began deliberations Wednesday on an antipiracy bill that would create a permanent law enabling the Maritime Self-Defense Force to protect the ships of any nation and ease the ban on the use of force.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party-New Komeito bloc is aiming to enact the bill during the current ordinary Diet session, which is set to close June 3. But with the opposition parties against the bill, the ruling coalition is likely to extend the session to secure its approval.

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