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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 November 4 - 10  > Block PM Suga’s attempt to adversely revise Constitution
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2020 November 4 - 10 [POLITICS]

Block PM Suga’s attempt to adversely revise Constitution

November 5, 2020

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

Taking over his predecessor Abe Shinzo’s ambition to revise the Constitution, Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide is disregarding the supreme law. This is shown in Suga’s interference in choosing the membership of the Science Council of Japan, which tramples on the constitutional principle of academic freedom. Furthermore, Suga has repeatedly called for Diet deliberations on constitutional amendments. It is important to strengthen public opposition to and grassroots movements against Suga’s constitutional revision attempt.

Suga has shown his intent to promote discussions on constitutional amendments in the ongoing extraordinary session of the Diet. In his policy speech, Suga expressed his hope that political parties’ discussions at the Constitution Commission of each House will lead to a greater national debate. In response to questions from political party representatives at the plenary meetings of both Houses of the Diet, Suga insisted that it is Dietmembers’ responsibility to hold discussions on constitutional revisions.

Suga, who is the chief of the executive branch of government, emphasizes the need for constitutional changes and urges the legislative branch to deliberate on the matter. This is exactly what his predecessor did while in office. Suga’s stance violates the PM’s constitutional obligation to respect and uphold the supreme law (Article 99) as well as ignores the constitutional principle of the separation of powers.

The general public do not want to have the Constitution revised. This can be clearly seen by the fact that the Liberal Democratic Party is still unable to table in the Diet its draft constitution which is based on Abe’s ambition to change the war-renouncing Article 9. Discussions in the Constitution Commissions of both Houses have made very little progress. As a result of last year’s House of Councilors election, pro-constitutional amendment forces lost their two-thirds majority in the chamber, a necessary condition to initiate a constitutional amendment. Opinion polls indicate that few people think that Suga should put a higher priority on constitutional revision.

The current Japanese Constitution was promulgated on November 3, 1946 and came into effect on May 3,1947. Its preamble states that based on deep remorse over the tragic war, the Japanese people “resolved that never again shall we be visited with the horrors of war through the action of government, do proclaim that sovereign power resides with the people and do firmly establish this Constitution. Government is a sacred trust of the people”.

PM Suga takes no notice of this resolution. It is necessary to block Suga’s move and create a new government that upholds the Constitution.

Past related article:
> PM Suga, the driving force behind change in official constitutional interpretation [October 4, 2020]
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