The Liberal Democratic Party and its ruling coalition partner Komeito have effectively wrapped up their talks on a package of security legislation prepared by the Abe administration to enable Japan to engage in collective self-defense and to expand the scope of the Self-Defense Forces’ overseas missions. The parties managed to paper over their differences on the bills in time for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the United States next week, in which Abe plans to confirm deepening of the bilateral security alliance with U.S. President Barack Obama.

Many of the core questions over the legislation remain unanswered. Of particular concern is the very broad definition of emergency situations that “threaten Japan’s survival,” which will allow Japan to take joint military action with its ally even when the nation is not directly under attack. The Diet needs to scrutinize the legislation and expose its problems.

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