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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 January 18 - 24  > PM Abe spurs legislators to change peace Constitution
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2017 January 18 - 24 TOP3 [POLITICS]

PM Abe spurs legislators to change peace Constitution

January 21, 2017

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo on January 20 delivered a policy speech at the beginning of the 150-day ordinary session of the Diet. In his address, Abe expressed his intent to change Japan’s pacifist Constitution and enact a “conspiracy bill” which is highly criticized for violating fundamental human rights.

Noting that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the enforcement of the postwar Japanese Constitution, Abe stressed that all Dietmembers have a responsibility to deepen discussions regarding constitutional change in both Houses’ Commissions on the Constitution.

The prime minister also declared his firm intention to pass a controversial “conspiracy bill” during the regular Diet session, highlighting the need to step up countermeasures against organized crime, including potential terrorist acts.

Stressing the importance of the Japan-U.S. alliance for Japan’s diplomacy and security, PM Abe stated that his government will press ahead with the construction of a U.S. military base in Okinawa’s Henoko coastal district.

On the same day, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo held a press conference in the Diet building and condemned Abe’s policy speech as “utterly dishonest”.

Shii said that it is outrageous for the prime minister, the very person who has the obligation to respect and uphold the supreme law, to urge lawmakers to promote deliberations for constitutional revision. Shii expressed his determination to foil PM Abe’s attempt to undermine the pacifist Constitution and enact a “conspiracy bill” in coordination with other opposition parties.

Shii noted that Abe is working hard to reinforce the U.S. bases in Okinawa while claiming that he will strive to alleviate the burden of U.S. military facilities shouldered by Okinawans. He denounced Abe for not saying a single word about the crash of a U.S. Osprey in December.

The JCP chair also pointed out that while citing various economic indicators, the prime minister is deliberately turning a blind eye to two “inconvenient facts”: the average of workers’ real annual wages has declined by 190,000 yen since Abe returned to power four years ago; and the amount of household spending, accounting for about 60% of the Japanese economy, has been declining for 15 months in a row.

Shii added that in Diet debates, the JCP will push the government to implement measures to increase family incomes in order to rebuild Japan’s economy.
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