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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 July 24 - 30  > Pro-Constitution movement enters critical stage: political scholar
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2019 July 24 - 30 [POLITICS]

Pro-Constitution movement enters critical stage: political scholar

July 24, 2019
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo during the House of Councilors election campaign (Jul.4- Jul.21) focused on constitutional amendments, appealing to voters to choose between political parties willing to discuss this issue or parties unwilling to do so. Constitutional revisionists (Liberal Democratic Party, Komei Party, Nippon Ishin no Kai) obtained a majority but did not maintain their previous strength and did not obtain the two-thirds majority needed to propose constitutional revision.

At a press conference held on July 22 after the election, PM Abe said, “We have gained strong public confidence. ‘Discussions on constitutional amendments should at least take place.’ This is the demand of the public.”

On the other hand, political scholar Watanabe Osamu, professor emeritus of Hitotsubashi University and a secretariat member of the Article 9 Association, said, “The pro-Constitution camp is facing a crucial stage. The united efforts of citizens’ movements and opposition parties will soon be tested.”

Watanabe said, “The coalition of citizens and opposition parties could not put an end to the controversy concerning constitutional amendments. In contrast, the revisionist forces secured 57 LDP seats or 81 in total including Komei and Nippon Ishin no Kai seats. PM Abe openly said that he will try to divide opposition parties so as to regain the two-thirds majority of Upper House seats, making clear his resolve to revise the Constitution."

Watanabe pointed out, "U.S. President Trump since withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal has repeatedly provoked Iran, enhancing the likelihood of war. The U.S. Trump administration is now pressuring Japan to join a U.S.-led 'coalition of the willing'."

Watanabe stated, "To have Japanese armed forces join in U.S. wars is PM Abe's highest aim. This is why he wants to change Article 9 of the Constitution. No matter what, we should stop the push for constitutional revision and his attempt to allow participation in foreign wars at any cost."

Past related articles:
> Opposition deters constitutional revisionists from winning two thirds majority in Upper House [July 23, 2019]
> PM Abe determined to restore 2/3 majority in Upper House to achieve constitutional revision [July 23, 2019]
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