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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 April 18 - 24  > JCP Nihi raps ruling parties for their rush to enact bill to establish constitutional revision procedures
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2007 April 18 - 24 [POLITICS]

JCP Nihi raps ruling parties for their rush to enact bill to establish constitutional revision procedures

April 18, 2007
The House of Councilors Special Committee for Research on the Constitution on April 17 began discussing a bill to establish procedures for revising the Constitution (national referendum bill). The ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties are intent on having the bill enacted as soon as possible.

At the informal meeting of the committee’s board of directors later in the day, the ruling parties stubbornly insisted that the committee should swiftly hold deliberations on the bill by meeting five days a week in order to enact the bill in the current Diet session.

The opposition parties demanded that prudent and fair discussions be held at the committee’s regular meetings. However, the Democratic Party eventually accepted the ruling parties’ proposal for holding committee meeting everyday for the moment.

“The need now is for this committee to respect the consensus of the public and thoroughly discuss the bill,” Japanese Communist Party representative Nihi Sohei said at the meeting, criticizing the ruling parties for trying arbitrarily to conduct the committee business in disregard of smaller parties.

Nihi demanded that the committee meet twice a week to thoroughly discuss the bill, hold public hearings on the bill in every prefecture, and conduct a survey on what other countries stipulate as the minimum voter turnout rate.

At a committee meeting earlier in the day, the bill submitters (LDP House of Representatives members) explained about the bill and answered questions of LDP and Komei members.

One LDP representative said, “Due to the lack of a procedural law to revise the Constitution, the public has been deprived of their right to have a better constitution.” A Komei member also sought to justify the bill by describing it as “an important bill to apply the principle of popular sovereignty.” They all called for putting the bill to the vote as early as possible. - Akahata, April 18, 2007
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