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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 March 21 - 27  > Five of six speakers at public hearing warn against hasty discussion of the bill to establish procedures for revision of the Constitution
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2007 March 21 - 27 [POLITICS]

Five of six speakers at public hearing warn against hasty discussion of the bill to establish procedures for revision of the Constitution

March 23, 2007
The House of Representatives Special Committee for Research on the Constitution on March 22 held a public hearing on a bill to establish procedures for constitutional revision. Five out of six speakers, including those who were recommended by parties sponsoring it, warned against hasty discussions on the bill.

Ozawa Ryuichi, professor in constitutional law at the Jikei University School of Medicine, emphasized that a law on procedures for amendment to the Constitution needs to fully guarantee the right of the public to freely and democratically express their wishes based on popular sovereignty and other constitutional principles. He pointed out that in light of this principle the bill contains serious problems such as failing to provide for minimum voter turnout, and that it imposes restrictions on activities by public servants and teachers. “I request this committee to drastically and carefully examine the bill without excluding the option to scrap it,” he said.

Honda Masatoshi, associate professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, said that although he fully supports the enactment of such a law, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s direction to enact the bill within a set time frame is “considered as problematic from the viewpoint of separation of powers,” adding that the ruling parties need to refrain from rushing the bill through the Diet.

Former House of Representatives member Yamahana Ikuo (Democratic Party) also stated that only a thoroughgoing discussion can protect the authority of the Diet. - Akahata, March 23, 2007
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