Japan plans to draw up a law to speed the deployment of troops overseas for peacekeeping operations and to support allies, reports said Sunday, in a move that could strain relations with neighbours wary about Japan’s wartime history.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government and his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) plan to draw bills early next year aimed at facilitating administrative processes to deploy Japanese troops abroad, the leading business daily Nikkei and other media reported.
The move would overwrite the past practice of ad-hoc legislation each time Japanese Self-Defense Forces were deployed abroad, except in UN peacekeeping operations and in emergencies in Japan’s neighbourhood—cases for which Japan already has permanent laws.
The bills would govern the dispatch of Japanese troops overseas in logistical support of multinational forces or key ally the United States.
But the LDP still needs to convince its junior coalition partner Komeito party to support the plan as Komeito remains reluctant to enact such a law, the Nikkei and Kyodo News said.