• Kyodo News


The government plans to submit to the Diet next week a bill to inspect cargo carried by vessels sailing to and from North Korea, Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said Thursday.

At an executive meeting of the Lower House steering committee, Kawamura said the government plans to approve the bill at an extraordinary Cabinet meeting Tuesday and immediately submit it to the Diet, lawmakers said.

The bill is aimed at enabling the Japan Coast Guard to inspect North Korean vessels suspected of carrying nuclear arms- or missile-related items in line with a U.N. Security Council resolution adopted in response to North Korea’s nuclear test in May.

Under conventional laws, the Self-Defense Forces can inspect cargo on the high seas only when Japan is under attack or in a situation that could develop into a direct attack if left unaddressed.

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