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Japan ruling coalition may force anti-terror law renewal: PM candidate

[JURIST] Japanese House of Representatives member Yasuo Fukuda [official website, in Japanese; Wikipedia profile], the leading candidate to succeed former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe [JURIST news archive], said Sunday that the coalition government under the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) [party website] may take the unusual step of renewing the controversial Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law [text] by adopting renewal measures twice in the House of Representatives, altogether bypassing the opposition-controlled House of Councillors [official website]. The legislation, originally passed in 2001 and extended annually [MOFA press release], is slated to expire November 1. The measure allows Japan to provide logistical support for allied vessels in the Indian Ocean for operations relating to Afghanistan.

Last Wednesday, Abe unexpectedly announced his resignation [BBC English translation; JURIST report] citing problems renewing the law. His office also flagged personal health concerns, and Abe was hospitalized [Japan Times report] on Thursday, suffering from stress and exhaustion. Abe had previously threatened to resign [JURIST report] if the anti-terrorism law was not renewed. The opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DJP) [party website] is opposed to Japanese participation in military operations not sanctioned by the United Nations. Thompson Financial has more.

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