Japan Backs Off Support of Afghan War

Standoff with domestic opposition leaves PM in hot water with US
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2007 1:30 PM CDT
Opposition Democratic Party of Japan leader Ichiro Ozawa arrives for a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, unseen, on the new bill for providing refueling in support of U.S.-led forces...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Japan's PM is being forced to withdraw the country's support for coalition forces in Afghanistan because the opposition party refuses to back the mission without UN support. Yasuo Fukuda's party could swing the votes for an override, but doing so would probably lead to an early election—which Fukuda might well lose, reports the Guardian.

Barring a last-minute deal with opposition leader Ichiro Ozawa before authorization expires Thursday, Fukuda has essentially admitted defeat and now faces the ire of the US. Japan's navy has provided fuel and logistical support for coalition forces from the Indian Ocean since 2001. It refueled a coalition ship yesterday, but the defense ministry said that won't continue.