National

Japan opposition chief seeks debate on planned SDF deployment to Middle East

JIJI

Yukio Edano, leader of the major opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, has called for an active debate on the government’s plan to dispatch Self-Defense Forces troops to the Middle East, amid escalating tensions between the United States and Iran.

“Fundamental discussions are needed in the Diet on whether SDF troops should be dispatched,” Edano told a news conference on Saturday in Ise, Mie Prefecture.

Edano expressed concerns that the killing by the U.S. military of Iran’s Gen. Qassem Soleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, would “extremely heighten tensions in the Middle Eastern region.”

Yuichiro Tamaki, leader of the Democratic Party for the People, another major opposition party, told reporters in Ise that “the possibility cannot be ruled out of a military clash” following the killing.

“I oppose the dispatch of SDF troops based on vague legal grounds,” Tamaki said.

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