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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 September 5 - 11  > Constitutional council holds lecture meeting in Tokyo
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2007 September 5 - 11 [POLITICS]

Constitutional council holds lecture meeting in Tokyo

September 10, 2007
With the Extraordinary Session of the Diet set for September 10, about 300 people attended a study meeting on September 8 in Tokyo to help strengthen the movement to stop the adverse constitutional revision being pushed harder than ever by the Abe Cabinet after a crushing setback of the ruling parties in the House of Councilors election.

The sponsor, the Liaison Council of Various Circles for Prevention of Mal-Revision of the Constitution, which is made up of trade unions and other democratic organizations and individuals, was founded in 1965 at the call of 33 prominent jurists.

Watanabe Osamu, a professor at Hitotsubashi University, stated that the Abe Cabinet, which has been pursuing a two-tier approach, a revision of the text and an interpretational revision, is now putting emphasis on the latter after the House of Councilors election.

Watanabe emphasized that the movement in opposition to adverse constitutional revision will enter a crucial stage this autumn and early next year.

Yoshida Yutaka, also a Hitotsubashi University professor, spoke about the views of pro-Yasukuni politicians who are the mainstay of the Abe Cabinet. He pointed out that since 1980, successive Liberal Democratic Party governments have had to revise their historical views of the past Japanese wars in order to maintain good relations with other Asian countries.

He said that while advocating that he will basically abide by the past governments’ historical views, Prime Minister Abe has not changed his own view of history, adding that Abe has been deepening contradictions with peace-loving people as well as with the U.S. over the “wartime comfort women” issue, thus destabilizing its own supporting forces.

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Kasai Akira spoke about the emerging political situation in the aftermath of the House of Councilors election and the prospect of the struggle to stop the adverse constitutional revision.

Kasai stressed that while popular movements for peace have made it difficult for the Abe cabinet to push ahead with the plan of constitutional revision, he warned that the reshuffled Abe Cabinet shows no sign of changing its intention of pushing ahead with the revision plan.

Kasai called on the participants to increase grassroots movements in order to foil the government plan to extend the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law that expires on November 1 and to block the establishment of a new Diet committee to initiate a process of constitutional revision and the drafting of a revised Constitution.
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