US, Japan Security Agreement Delayed

The planned revision for the US-Japan Defense Cooperation agreement, which was scheduled for release at the end of the month, will be delayed until the “first half of next year, taking into account the progress of Japan’s legislative process, “according to a joint Japanese and US statement. The Japanese parliament is set to take up new legislation in 2015 to address many of the long-standing restrictions on the use and deployment of the Japan Self Defense Forces beyond the territories of Japan, following local elections next spring. Senior US and Japanese officials said the delay is to ensure “consistency between the revision of the guidelines,” Japan’s legislative process, and the content of the guidelines, noting further discussions will help shape the final report. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved a reinterpretation of the country’s constitution this past summer, which would allow Japanese forces to come to the defense of allies who are under military threat, in certain circumstances. The decision ended the so-called “collective self defense ban.”