Afghanistan Showdown begins in Japan

On November 12, 2007, in General, by Neil Stevens

The Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force has been aiding the coalition in Afghanistan by refueling ships in the Indian Ocean. However the Democratic Party of Japan has been pushing to pull out, with its leader in fact getting into an argument with Angela Merkel over it when she last visited Japan.

Japan’s Prime Ministers have perservered through these objections, but now the authorization for that assistance is set to expire. Voting on a new bill will soon begin in the Diet, starting with the House of Representatives. A Liberal Democratic Party-lead coalition, which favors engagement in the War on Terror, controls the lower house, so the bill is likely to pass there. But they lost the House of Councillors in the last election in July to the DPJ, a month before the resignation of former Prime Minster Abe, so there could be problems getting the bill passed there.

Here’s hoping Japan’s left is as ineffective as ours on this.


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