[JURIST] Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DJP) [party websites] Tuesday failed to reach a consensus on new anti-terror legislation necessary to extend Japan's support mission for US operations in the Indian Ocean. The LDP had urged the approval of the proposed legislation, which would limit Japan to providing refueling support to allied vessels on anti-terrorism patrols, before the expiration of the current Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law [text] on November 1. The LDP, which previously sought a full renewal of the anti-terror law, has narrowed the scope [JURIST reports] of the legislation to obtain greater DJP support.
Japan's involvement in Operation Enduring Freedom [DOS backgrounder] by refueling and supplying water to coalition ships in the Indian Ocean has precipitated a major rift [JURIST report] between Japan's two major parties, contributing to the September resignation [BBC English translation; JURIST report] of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The DJP wishes to entirely scrap Japan's mission, saying it violates the country's pacifist constitution [text] by involving Japan in military operations. The Times Online has more.