The planned submission of the bill during the regular Diet session to be convened later this month is in line with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's pledge to U.S. President Barack Obama during their talks in November. ... Although the opposition camp backs the substance of the bill, deliberations on the legislation could stall due to tactics the opposition parties may adopt over parliamentary procedures in the divided Diet, where the ruling bloc lacks a majority in the upper chamber.
Within the Japanese government, calls for swift enactment of the legislation gained momentum after a Japanese woman faced a felony charge of concealing her 9-year-old daughter from the girl's Nicaraguan father, who is a permanent U.S. resident, according to the officials.
The woman, who had taken the girl to Japan in 2008 and was arrested in Hawaii in April, was set free in December after the girl was returned to her father in Wisconsin following a plea agreement reached in November.