Senior Self-Defense Forces officers are demanding a bigger role in drafting the next overall operation plan, in what is viewed as a power struggle with civilian bureaucrats in the Defense Ministry, according to sources close to the matter.

The bureaucrats have so far refused, out of concern that uniformed SDF personnel could further extend their influence and reverse the power relationship following the enactment of laws last June that removed some of the control that civilian officials had over the SDF, the sources said Sunday.

The legal change put uniformed SDF personnel on an equal footing with civilian bureaucrats in assisting the defense minister.