The Daily Manila Shimbun


LDP to draw up constitutional revision plan by yearend

June 6, 2017

Tokyo- Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Tuesday confirmed a plan to draw up its proposals on constitutional revisions within this year.

"We want to come up with our party's specific proposals that can be presented to the constitutional committees (of both chambers of the Diet) by the end of the year at the latest," Okiharu Yasuoka, chairman of the LDP Headquarters for the Promotion of Revision to the Constitution, said at an executive meeting of the panel.
Based on instructions from LDP President Shinzo Abe, the prime minister, the party is expected to consider proposing a revision to the war-renouncing Article 9 of the constitution to authorize the existence of the Self-Defense Forces.
Other expected issues include the creation of clauses to make higher education free of tuition and enable the country to extend the terms of lawmakers in the event of an emergency.
To accelerate discussions, the LDP beefed up the constitutional revision panel by having the top three party executives below Abe, including Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai, serve as advisers and Executive Acting Secretary-General Hakubun Shimomura, close to the prime minister, as aide to the chairman.
Former regional revitalization minister Shigeru Ishiba, who is critical of Abe's proposal to add a new section to Article 9 to permit the SDF's existence, also joined the LDP panel as an adviser.
"The handling of the LDP's draft of an amended constitution released in 2012 will be important," Ishiba said at Tuesday's executive meeting, the first one since the panel's expansion.
He said consistency should be secured between the upcoming revision proposals and the 2012 draft that calls for a revision to Article 9 to have it stipulate the establishment of national defense forces. (Jiji Press)