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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 April 24 - May 7  > Koike on BS news program criticizes PM Abe for trampling on constitutionalism
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2019 April 24 - May 7 [POLITICS]

Koike on BS news program criticizes PM Abe for trampling on constitutionalism

May 5, 2019
Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira on May 3 on a BS news program held a debate over the Constitution with representatives of a number of political parties. Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Shimomura Hakubun who heads the LDP taskforce for the promotion of constitutional revision participated in the debate.

In the debate aired by BS Fuji as part of its “Live Prime News” program, Koike referred to a video message which Prime Minister Abe sent to a rally held by pro-constitutional revision forces earlier in the day in Tokyo. Criticizing PM Abe, Koike pointed out that Abe in his message took advantage of the change in the imperial era name and new Emperor’s enthronement as an opportunity to appeal to the public on the need to change the Constitution. Koike said, “This is a blatant case of using the Emperor for political purposes.”

Koike also noted that PM Abe in his message said that he is sticking to his desire to have a new constitution take effect by 2020. Koike pointed out that the prime minister expressed his determination to insert wording proclaiming the legitimacy of the Self-Defense Forces in Article 9 of the Constitution within a specific time frame. “His behavior totally tramples on constitutionalism,” Koike stated as he again delivered a denunciation of PM Abe.

Meanwhile, LDP taskforce head Shimomura and his counterpart in the LDP coalition partner Komei Party, Kitagawa Kazuo, argued that it is inappropriate for pro-constitutionalism opposition parties to refuse to attend a meeting of the House of Representatives Commission on the Constitution scheduled for May 9. Koike objected to this argument by pointing out that the ruling block unilaterally fixed the date for the meeting in violation of the customary practice of scheduling any commission level meeting based on consensus reached among all members of the commission.

After the debate, a question-and-answer session for viewers took place.

Asked by a viewer if the JCP opposes the imperial system, Koike explained the JCP position and said, “Our party will defend all the constitutional provisions, including the provision that stipulates the imperial system, and never allow the political use of the Emperor. The JCP insists that it is the general public who has the right to decide whether to abolish the imperial system or not.”

Past related articles:
> JCP Chair speaks of JCP on online news site [October 28, 2018]
> Majority of general public oppose Abe’s move to revise Constitution [September 23, 2018]
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