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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 April 30 - May 13  > Advocates of constitutional revision irritated by increasing pacifism
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2008 April 30 - May 13 [PEACE]

Advocates of constitutional revision irritated by increasing pacifism

May 4, 2008
On May 3, rightist organizations and groups held a rally in Tokyo, as they have done every year, to drum up public support for their call for constitutional revision.

The National Congress for a New Constitution rally this year was attended by only 400 people, apparently reflecting the growing opposition to constitutional revision as found in a number of recent newspaper polls.

Funada Moto, a Liberal Democratic Party member of the House of Representatives, reportedly said, “This should be time when the Diet should be involved in active discussion on the revision of the Constitution.”

A core member of the party’s panel on the Constitution, Funada did not hesitate to express annoyance about the parliamentary Deliberative Council on the Constitution’s inertia due to public criticism of the ruling parties for railroading through the law to establish procedures for holding a national referendum to revise the Constitution.

Referring to the Nagoya High Court ruling that the dispatch of Self-Defense Forces to Iraq is unconstitutional, Funada said, “The present interpretation of Article 9 of the Constitution is barely able to justify SDF dispatches abroad.”

With this remark, he was stressing the urgent need to enact a general law (permanent law) to allow the country to send the SDF abroad any time and to revise the Constitution’s Article 9.

Former Defense Minister Koike Yuriko said, “(Under the present Constitution) the SDF is not defined as a military. A military court needs to be established as early as possible.”

Hirasawa Katsuei, House of Representatives Foreign Relations Committee chairman, stated, “We can proceed to constitutional revision through discussions together with the DPJ.” In saying this, he cited a remark by Democratic Party member of the House of Representatives Nagashima Akihisa at a gathering of parliamentarians in April in support of constitutional revision: The DPJ “is in favor of Constitutional revision.” -Akahata, May 4, 2008
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