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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 March 28 - April 3  > Ruling coalition submits to Diet a revised bill to establish procedures for constitutional revision
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2007 March 28 - April 3 [POLITICS]

Ruling coalition submits to Diet a revised bill to establish procedures for constitutional revision

March 28, 2007
The Liberal Democratic and Komei parties on March 27 submitted to the Diet a revised national referendum bill to establish procedures for constitutional revision in response to Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s instruction to get it enacted within the current Diet session.

The ruling camp’s revised bill will impose tougher regulations on public servants’ involvement in campaigns concerning constitutional revision which is closer to their original proposal and more reactionary than a proposal worked out at the end of last year through collaboration with the Democratic Party of Japan.

The revised bill is to apply the Public Servant Law, which imposes criminal penalties on public servants for taking part in political activities, to campaigns concerning a referendum on a revision of the Constitution. The bill also prohibits public servants and teachers from conducting such campaigns by “using their positions.”

Regulations on public servants’ involvement in national referendum campaigns has been demanded by a Dietmembers’ group of the Japan Conference, a right-wing organization calling for constitutional revision and insisting that Japan had never coerced women into wartime sex slavery. They also urge the government to impose tighter regulations on the activities of civic groups and the media regarding the referendum.

The ruling parties are considering even regulating organizational activities to distribute organ papers and fliers.

Without setting the minimum voter turnout required for the referendum to be valid, the bill states that the Constitution will be revised with the approval by more than 50 percent of votes. Thus, this bill will allow the Constitution to be revised even with the approval of only 20 percent of eligible voters.
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