Japan approves new missile rules


07-23-2005, 11:38 AM

Japan has passed legislation that allows the defence chief to order the interception of incoming missiles without seeking Cabinet permission.

The bill was approved by the upper house in a 126-94 vote, and will now be made law. It was passed in the more powerful lower house last month. Correspondents say there are concerns that the present system would waste time in the event of an attack.

Japan’s government has been reconsidering its defence policy, amid concern about the nuclear ambitions of its neighbour North Korea. Japan’s pacifist constitution renounces using force in international disputes.

BBC News (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4706985.stm)

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