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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 June 12 - 18  > To relax requirements for constitutional revision is like back door admission: legal scholar
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2013 June 12 - 18 [PEACE]

To relax requirements for constitutional revision is like back door admission: legal scholar

June 16, 2013
Academics and lawyers opposing revision of requirements for constitutional revision set under Article 96 of the Constitution held a rally in Tokyo on June 14 with more than 1,000 concerned citizens attending.

They launched a group in protest against Article 96 revision last month.

In a keynote speech at the rally, constitutional scholar Higuchi Yoichi, professor emeritus of the University of Tokyo, criticized the attempt to relax requirements for constitutional revision as a “backdoor method” to revise the Constitution.

Article 96 obligates parliamentarians “to have exhaustive discussions until more than two-thirds of elected representatives in the Diet express their consent and provide full information to the public so that the general public can make a decision,” said Higuchi.

Doshisha University professor Okano Yayo said, “Calls for the modification of Article 96 illustrate authorities’ intent to restrain individual’s diverse way of life.”

Hasebe Yasuo, professor at the University of Tokyo Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, pointed out that the greatest principle of constitutionalism is to respect all people as equal individuals despite difference in their values and worldview.

Hasebe said that in order to rewrite the Constitution incorporating this principle of constitutionalism, it is necessary to present a draft constitution which can achieve considerable public consensus. “That’s why Article 96 requires the two-thirds majority in both chambers of the Diet as a procedure for constitutional revision.”

Citing that branches of the Article 9 Association have held gatherings at the grassroots level and increased public awareness regarding the moves towards constitutional revision, A9A Secretary General Komori Yoichi called on participants to strengthen the grassroots-based nationwide movement.

Related past article:
> Japan’s scholars set up association to block constitutional revision [May 24, 2013]

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