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Bill to establish procedures for constitutional revision rammed through Lower House committee


   The ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties on April 12 forced a procedural bill to revise the Constitution (national referendum bill) through the House of Representatives Special Committee for Research on the Constitution of Japan.


   Japanese Communist, Social Democratic, and Democratic party members on the committee opposed taking a vote, and a Peoplefs New Party representative walked out of the committee meeting.


   JCP representative Kasai Akira protested against this forcible passage, saying, gIt is totally unacceptable to take a vote without sufficient discussions on such an important bill that will pave the way for revising Article 9.h


   In his question time prior to the vote, Kasai stated, gThe ruling parties are rushing to take a vote because this bill is built into Prime Minister Abe Shinzofs schedule for a constitutional revision.h Citing opinion polls, Kasai pointed out that the general public regards this bill as premature, and demanded that it be scrapped.


   Committee Chair Nakayama Taro (LDP), however, stifled the debate. Amid shouts and chaos, ruling coalition members stood up, claiming the passage of the bill.


   At a news conference immediately after the committee meeting, JCP Chair Shii Kazuo criticized the LDP and the Komei Party for the forcible passage of the bill in disregard of the majority of the public calling for a thorough discussion on it and expressed his determination to scrap the bill in the House of Councilors.                                   - Akahata, April 13, 2007



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