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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 August 8 - 14  > Abe spurs his party to submit its draft constitution to Diet this fall
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2018 August 8 - 14 [POLITICS]

Abe spurs his party to submit its draft constitution to Diet this fall

August 14, 2018
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo on August 12 at a lecture meeting in Yamaguchi’s Shimonoseki City said that the Liberal Democratic Party should hurry to finalize its draft constitution so that the draft can be submitted to the next session of the Diet. This indicates PM Abe’s intent to introduce a bill to revise Article 9 in the extraordinary Diet session which is expected to convene in the fall.

Originally, PM Abe had intended to have the Diet initiate constitutional revision during this year’s ordinary session and hold a national referendum on constitutional amendments by the end of the year, considering the tight political schedule next year: in 2019, the House of Councilors election is scheduled for summer and the simultaneous local elections and the abdication of the Emperor to occur earlier the same year. Given the importance of these events, it will be difficult for PM Abe to call a referendum before the Upper House election.

In contrast to Abe’s original intention, favoritism scandals involving the school corporations of Moritomo and Kake took the center stage of the ordinary Diet session where Abe himself caused further confusion. During the session, allegations and problems pertaining to the two separate scandals surfaced one after another, including the falsification and mishandling of official documents and false statements made in the Diet by top bureaucrats. As a result, the Diet deliberation was thrown into chaos and the Commissions on the Constitution in both Houses were unable to schedule meetings.

The process for an end to the long-term hostility on the Korean Peninsula and for a lasting peace in the region has begun with the two historic summit meetings between North and South Korea as well as between North Korea and the United States. This situation has weakened Abe’s argument that a revision to the pacifist Constitution is necessary to deal with the threat from North Korea, forcing Abe to acknowledge the importance of the U.S.-North Korea summit.

Abe must stop pushing forward with his move to change Article 9 as it is in line with his move to turn Japan into a war-fighting country which exercises the collective self-defense right and enables the Self-Defense Forces to support U.S. wars abroad. Abe’s move will only help increase tensions in the region and is harmful to the trend for peace in Northeast Asia.

Past related articles:
> LDP will soon start work on constitutionalizing SDF [March 24, 2018]
> PM Abe in New Year’s address expresses intent to step up attack on Article 9 [January 5, 2018]

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