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Rengo poised to call for changing war-renouncing Article 9

A call for amending the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution has arisen from the Japanese Confederation of Trade Unions (Rengo), Japan's largest trade union organization known to be a major supporter of the Democratic Party of Japan.

The move came on July 14 when the Rengo leadership published its "view on the basic policies for the nation" at the Rengo Central Executive Commitee meeting in Tokyo.

The plan sets out two opinions to be put to discussion: (1) Article 9 should be revised so as to be able to establish a "Basic Law for National Security" and (2) a "Basic Law for National Security" should be established without changing Article 9.

The present Rengo view on the Constitution is a product of 6 rounds of intensive discussions that have been held for two years. It also takes into account proposals put forward by the Democratic Party.

In August 2004, at a time when calls for constitutional revisions were becoming louder, particularly from the Liberal Democratic Party, the Democratic Party, and business leaders, Rengo Chairman Sasamori Kiyoshi for the first time stated that it is necessary to widely discuss pararaph 2 of the Constitution which prohibits Japan from maintaining armed forces and exercising the right to belligerency. -- Akahata, July 16, 2005

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