November 22, 2002

Japan's Lower House Passes SDF Dispatch Bill

Japan's House of Representatives on Thursday afternoon approved a bill to allow the Self-Defense Forces (SDF ) to provide logistic support to US-led military retaliation over terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

Under the new bill,the SDF troops can provide logistical support such as medical services and supplies,conduct in search- and-rescue operations and help victims of the military strikes amid the US-led retaliation strikes.

The bill,which limits the SDF activities to "noncombat areas" ,will allow SDF troops to operate on foreign soil for the first time.

The bill,which have a validity of two years,also allows SDF personnel to use their weapons not only to protect themselves ,but to defend people under their care,such as refugees and injured soldiers.

The revised bill obliges the government to seek Diet(parliament) approval within 20 days of an SDF dispatch.

The bill is expected to pass the House of Councilors by the end of the month.

The lower house on Thursday also passed a bill to revise the SDF Law so that the SDF can protect its own facilities and US military facilities in Japan.

(Xinhua News Agency 10/18/2001)

In This Series
Japan Sets up Anti-terrorism Task Forces

Senior Politician Raps Japanese PM for Moving Japan in "Wrong Direction"

China Urges Japan to be "Prudent" in Aiding Fight Against Terrorism



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