Perhaps, then, Jun Okumura is right: a perfunctory effort to get the DPJ to sign on, then a quick push through the House of Representatives by mid-October (Jun said October 16th), meaning that the sixty-day waiting period would end sometime in December. It seems that the government will be unable to avoid extending the Diet session into December.
The terms of the government’s draft, accordingly to Asahi, are much more limited than the special measures law, stripping the mission down to its refueling core (instead of also being permitted to do searches and disaster relief). Acknowledging opposition criticism, the government will provide information on the mission at fixed intervals — and it will acknowledge the farcical UN resolution as a basis for action. The LDP wants the bill to last two years, but apparently Komeito would prefer only one.
But any differences within the coalition will presumably be ironed out. It seems that Mr. Fukuda may be able to achieve what Mr. Abe couldn’t, with minimal turbulence. The DPJ will ask its questions and demand documents — it has already begun its parliamentary inquest — but it won’t be able to do much more than delay the inevitable. Mr. Ozawa may still be able to spin it as a victory of some kind, saying that he stood up to both the government and the US and refused to cave, but it seems that it won’t serve as the rallying cry that perhaps the DPJ leadership intended when it took this stance after the election.
In other words, in with a bang, out with a whimper.