The Daily Manila Shimbun


Opposition seeks withdrawal of Abe’s Constitution remarks

May 18, 2017

Tokyo- The major Japanese opposition Democratic Party on Thursday demanded that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe withdraw his remarks that he hopes to have a revised constitution in force by 2020.

At a meeting of the House of Representatives Commission on the Constitution, DP lawmaker Masaharu Nakagawa said, "Making such remarks is an act that seriously infringes on the legislature's authority and causes confusion in parliamentary proceedings."

Nakagawa said the commission should protest against the remarks and adopt a resolution to seek their withdrawal.

In response, Gen Nakatani of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party explained that Abe made the remarks in question in his capacity as LDP president.
Another LDP lawmaker Keiji Furuya said, "Such a resolution is completely unnecessary."

Among other opposition lawmakers, Seiken Akamine of the Japanese Communist Party said the remarks by Abe can never be tolerated, while Kantoku Teruya of the Social Democratic Party said they were "verbal abuse."

Yasushi Adachi of Nippon Ishin no Kai, an opposition party positive about revising the constitution, urged the DP to come up with a specific proposal for constitutional amendments.

The Lower House commission met for the first time since Abe made the controversial remarks in a video message he sent to a meeting in Tokyo held by a group calling for constitutional revisions on May 3, the 70th anniversary of the effectuation of the current constitution.

In the message, Abe specifically sought to add a new clause to the constitution's war-renouncing Article 9 to support the existence of the Self-Defense Forces.
At the opening of Thursday's meeting, Eisuke Mori, the commission's chairman and a member of the LDP, said only parliament has the right to propose constitutional amendments. (TOKYO, Jiji)