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Japan PM threatens resignation if anti-terror law not renewed

[JURIST] Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe [official website, in Japanese; JURIST news archive] said Sunday that he would resign if parliament refuses to extend a special anti-terrorism law. Abe faces opposition from the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) [party website], which has criticized Abe's ability to function and have threatened to veto [press release] the renewal of the legislation. The Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law [text], originally passed in 2001 and extended annually [MOFA press release] since, is currently slated to expire November 1. Among other things, it allows Japan to refuel allied ships in the Indian Ocean for operations relating to Afghanistan. While Abe announced he would step down if the law is not extended, US officials expressed concern at losing Japanese support in the Middle East.

Japan's involvement in Afghanistan has caused a rift between Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LPJ) [party website] and the DPJ. DPJ president Ichiro Ozawa [party profile] has voiced his opposition to Japan acting abroad in operations not sanctioned by the United Nations. The Financial Times has more.

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