The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito reconvened talks Tuesday on drafting legislation to expand the role of the Self-Defense Forces overseas, but remained at odds over whether to make Diet approval a precondition for dispatching troops outside Japan.
Differences remain between the LDP, which wants to expand by law the range of possible SDF missions overseas, and Buddhist-backed Komeito, which wants the bills to contain constraints on executive power.
Nevertheless, both parties hope to conclude the talks before the scheduled update of the Japan-U.S. defense cooperation guidelines on April 27.
During more than an hour of discussions at the Diet, Komeito urged the government to make advance Diet approval a must without exception when dispatching the SDF overseas to provide logistic support to other militaries or when sending them on peacekeeping operations.
According to brief overviews of security legislation the government proposed to the ruling parties during the talks, advance Diet approval is only “basically” required to send troops overseas for such missions. The LDP wants to leave the wording ambiguous so Japan can dispatch the SDF without needing advance Diet approval each time — such as when an overseas emergency demands instant action, or in the event that the Diet is closed.
But Komeito pointed out that even if the Diet happens to be closed, the government would still be able to summon lawmakers within a few days, and questioned the need to leave wiggle room in the wording for exceptions.