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Japan parliament passes anti-terror bill with majority override

[JURIST] Japan's parliament approved new anti-terror legislation [JURIST report] Friday that will grant an extension to a Japanese refueling mission in the Indian Ocean. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) [official website, in Japanese], led by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda [official website], used its two-thirds majority in the parliament's lower house to override Friday's earlier rejection of the bill in the upper house, which is controlled by the Democratic Party of Japan (DJP) [official website, in Japanese]. The bill, which restricts its application to allied ships on anti-terrorism patrols, is a compromise [AFP report] between the leading LDP and the opposition DJP. The anti-terrorism bill prohibits Japanese support of US and other allied ships engaged in military, rescue, or humanitarian operations in Afghanistan. The refuelling mission has been criticized by those who say it violates the country's pacifist constitution by involving Japan in military operations in the Middle East.

The bill is a limited renewal [JURIST report] of the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law [text]. Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigned [JURIST report] last year amid controversy over renewal of a broader version of the anti-terror law. AP has more. The New York Times has additional coverage.

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