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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 April 28 - May 11  > LDP-proposed bill to revise National Referendum Law approved at Lower House Constitution Commission
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2021 April 28 - May 11 [POLITICS]

LDP-proposed bill to revise National Referendum Law approved at Lower House Constitution Commission

May 7, 2021

The House of Representatives Constitution Commission on May 6 approved a Liberal Democratic Party-submitted bill to revise the National Referendum Law (the law on procedures for constitutional revision) with majority votes after making some modifications. The Japanese Communist Party voted against the bill.

The ruling LDP seeks to force the passage of the bill through the Lower House on May 11.

In discussions prior to the vote, JCP representative Akamine Seiken in opposition to the bill noted that the LDP submitted the bill with the aim of activating Diet deliberation on four items in the party’s constitutional revision draft, including arguing for the legitimacy of the Self-Defense Forces in Article 9 and adding an emergency clause to the Constitution. He said that it is unacceptable for the commission to launch discussions on the four items following the approval of the bill.

Akamine criticized Prime Minister Suga’s recent remark that the enactment of the bill will serve as a step toward promoting discussions on the four items, and said, “The general public does not give priority to constitutional revision. What the government should do now is to make all-out efforts to bring the pandemic under control.”

Furthermore, Akamine pointed out that the national referendum legislation contains fundamental flaws as shown by its lack of the minimum requirement for voter turnout and thus will fail to reflect the general public’s opinions accurately. Stating that modifications do not help correct flaws, he stressed that the commission should not take a vote on the LDP-proposed bill.

Earlier on the same day, the LDP and the largest opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan held a meeting in the Diet building and agreed in writing that the CDPJ will support the enactment of the bill in the current Diet session in exchange for the acceptance of its proposal for modifications to the bill by the LDP.

JCP Diet Policy Commission Chair Kokuta Keiji lodged a protest with the CDPJ against the agreement.

Past related article:
> Who profits from the revision of National Referendum Law? [April 11, 2014]
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