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JCP Nihi criticizes undemocratic nature of constitutional revision procedure bill


   At a House of Councilors Constitution Special Research Committee meeting on April 18, Japanese Communist Party representative Nihi Sohei criticized the undemocratic system that a constitutional revision procedure bill is to establish as well as the ruling partiesf rush to get it enacted as soon as possible in disregard of the public opposition to the hasty Diet discussions.


   Nihi criticized Liberal Democratic Party House of Representatives member Yasuoka Okiharu, who submitted the bill, for treating discussions in the Upper House as a complement to Lower House discussions by saying, gThe House of Councilors will not discuss it from scratch.h


   gSuch a remark shows a lack of understanding of the bicameral system and the authority and function of the House of Councilors based on the Constitution,h said Nihi, adding, gHis statement reveals that Mr. Yasuoka is not qualified to propose such a bill.h


   Nihi pointed out that Yasuokafs remark is closely connected with Prime Minister Abe Shinzofs remark that the constitutional revision procedure bill must be enacted in the current Diet session in order to revise the Constitution during his tenure in office. gThe ruling parties are claiming the bill as a measure to give shape to popular sovereignty. The House of Councilors must discuss the bill thoroughly in order to fully reflect the consensus of the public.h


   The JCP representative asked Akamatsu Masao, a Komei Party Lower House member and a submitter of the bill, if he regards it right for the Constitution to be revised by an approval of less than 20 percent of eligible voters. Akamatsu, while admitting that such a system is improper, stated that the effort to raise the voter turnout rate is important.                        - Akahata, April 19, 2007


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