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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 March 11 - 17  > DPJ secretary-general says change of power should expedite discussion on constitutional revision
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2009 March 11 - 17 [POLITICS]

DPJ secretary-general says change of power should expedite discussion on constitutional revision

March 13, 2009
Hatoyama Kunio, secretary general of the opposition Democratic Party, says that a DPJ victory in the next House of Representatives general election will facilitate discussion on constitutional revision.

In his e-mail magazine article on March 11, Hatoyama wrote, “Discussion aimed at constitutional revision cannot be developed unless Japan’s political situation is stabilized.” He also wrote, “It is necessary to change government in order to create political stability that will make it possible to begin discussing constitutional revision.”

These are comments he made on March 10 before the first “graduates” of the Hatoyama Yu-ai Jyuku (Fraternity academy), an institution inaugurated in April last year by Hatoyama with his sister and his brother, who is Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Minister.

He said, “The task now is to create a Constitution that will meet the needs of our times.”

It is interesting that the secretary general of the largest opposition party, who calls for changing political power, shares the common ideals and purpose of the academy with his brother who is a key cabinet minister under Prime Minister Aso Taro. This testifies to the fact that there is no sense of true rivalry between the Democratic Party and the Liberal Democratic Party.

In his “Shin-Kenpo soan – Songen aru Nihon wo tsukuru” (A personal proposal for a new Constitution: to create a Japan that has dignity) published in 2005, Hatoyama Yukio called for Japan to retain the emperor as head of state and to possess Jiei-gun (self-defense armed forces).

In March 2008, he became an adviser to the Parliamentarian Group for a New Constitution which consists of Dietmembers from the Liberal Democratic, Komei, Democratic, and New People’s parties. Ibuki Bunmei, then LDP secretary general, also assumed a post with the group. This is another indication that the campaign calling for constitutional revision has been systematically and jointly pushed by the two major parties.

The Diet has already enacted a bill to hold a national referendum on constitutional revision. The referendum will be held in May 2010.

(In late 1945, Hatoyama Ichiro, the Hatoyama brothers’ grandfather, as the then prime minister established an ad hoc committee that later published a draft of a new constitution. The draft, however, was rejected by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers as too conservative.)
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