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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 March 7 - 13  > PM Abe attempts to break stalemate by pushing for constitutional revision
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2007 March 7 - 13 [POLITICS]

PM Abe attempts to break stalemate by pushing for constitutional revision

March 8, 2007
The ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties on March 7 decided to forcibly hold a House of Representatives Constitutional Research Committee meeting under the authority of the committee chair, showing their strong zeal for a bill to establish procedures for constitutional revisions.

In the background of their hard-line stance is the repeated call of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo to enact the bill before May 3, Constitution Day.

At the March 5 House of Councilors Budget Committee meeting, Abe stated, “We are engaged in politics not for the purpose of raising the support rate for the cabinet. We must do what we are determined to do; now is the time to carry out reforms that have been put off for 60 years.”

Taking a defiant attitude towards public criticism of the LDP policies concerning poverty, social inequality, and other issues, Abe intends to forcibly break the stalemate and reverse the declining support rate by putting greater emphasis on constitutional revision.

The ruling parties’ stance of trying to ram the bill through the Diet is causing a rift in the joint effort made by the “two major parties,” the LDP and the Democratic Party of Japan, to revise the Constitution.

Commenting on his party’s refusal to discuss with the ruling parties about setting a schedule for committee meetings and public hearing, a DPJ Dietmember said, “The main problem is that Prime Minister Abe is in the forefront in pushing for discussion on the bill.”

The bill is very undemocratic and unfair since it sets the hurdles for a constitutional revision as low as possible. It will allow a constitutional revision with a low approval rate, constrain teachers’ and public servants’ free speech, and give the well-resourced pro-constitutional revision forces an advantage by their ability to buy airtime.

If these defects become widely known to the public, the majority will oppose the bill.
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