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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 March 7 - 13  > Abe undermines parliamentary democracy by attempting to push through bill to establish procedures for constitutional revision: JCP Shii
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2007 March 7 - 13 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Abe undermines parliamentary democracy by attempting to push through bill to establish procedures for constitutional revision: JCP Shii

March 13, 2007
JCP Chair Shii criticized Abe by stating, “What we are witnessing is the head of the executive branch of government interfering in the business of the legislative branch by giving a command to enact the bill by May 3.”

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo in an NHK TV interview aired on March 11 reaffirmed his eagerness to get a bill to establish procedures for revision of the Constitution (national referendum bill) enacted in the current Diet session.

He said, “The Constitution needs to be revised in order to establish the foundation of nation-building suitable for the 21st century. Therefore, the Diet should enact the national referendum bill as the first step.”

At the same time, he changed his hard-line stance of pursuing the enactment of the bill by May 3, Constitution Day, saying, “I do not insist on the date.”

On the same day, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo at a press conference in Kochi City criticized Abe by stating, “What we are witnessing is the head of the executive branch of government interfering in the business of the legislative branch by giving a command to enact the bill by May 3. With this, the prime minister is seriously undermining parliamentary democracy.”

“The bill to establish procedures for constitutional revision is inseparable from the adverse revision of Article 9 that will turn Japan into a nation willing and able to engage in wars abroad,” said Shii, adding, “We firmly stand against the attempt to enact within a set time frame the bill which will give a huge advantage to pro-constitutional revision forces.”

Shii also said that taking the declining cabinet support rate into consideration, Abe is giving hawkish commands to keep his cabinet alive, but such a maneuver is causing contradictions in the ruling parties. Shii stressed that the task now is for the JCP to rapidly build up the momentum needed to block the bill, and stated, “By strengthening the movement in opposition, the ruling parties’ contradictions will deepen.”

In order to meet the prime minister’s order to get the bill enacted by May 3, the ruling parties on March 8 attempted to forcibly hold a Lower House Special Committee meeting under the authority of its chair, but failed due to strong public criticism.
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