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LDP and DPJ keep silent about Article 9 during campaigning

In their campaign speeches, leaders of the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Japan sidestep the issue of revising the Constitution, although these parties call for Article 9 to be amended in their manifestos.

The LDP's first plan for a new constitution, aiming at enabling Japan to use military forces abroad, proposes deleting the provisions banning Japan from maintaining war potential and renouncing the right to belligerency, and replacing them with a paragraph establishing "self-defense armed forces."

The DPJ in a report in preparation for its proposition on the Constitution also said that Japan should have the right of self-defense and the maintenance of self-defense armed forces specified.

Both the LDP and the DPJ plan to give shape to their constitutional plans after the House of Representatives general election.

Edano Yukio, DPJ constitutional research council chair, in March said, "If we are to attain a two-third majority in parliament (necessary to motion a constitutional revision), we should avoid the constitutional issue in this election."

The Social Democratic Party states that it defends the Constitution, but it in fact cooperates with the DPJ in some constituencies.

In sharp contrast to their pro-revision or ambiguous stances, the Japanese Communist Party is campaigning as the most reliable opposition to the adverse revision of the Constitution. In the movement for defending Article 9, the JCP cooperates with 3,000 "Article 9" associations throughout Japan and people at the grass-roots. -- Akahata, September 4, 2006

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