It was an unusual meeting starting at around 7:30 a.m. at the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's headquarters in Tokyo on Oct. 23, hastily organized so government officials could get lawmakers up to speed.

In the week before, the government had abruptly announced plans to dispatch Self-Defense Forces elements to the sea off Oman for a possibly historic mission amid highly strained military tensions over Iran's nuclear program.

However, the government officials didn't give clear-cut answers to most of the questions posed by LDP members, saying everything is still "under consideration," according to several lawmakers who attended the meeting.