05 May 2017

News Story: Abe's trial and error tactics on constitutional amendment reflect his long-held desire

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is still struggling to figure out specific ways to revise Japan's Constitution -- his deeply held desire ever since he assumed the premiership for the first time in 2006 -- even though the pro-constitutional amendment forces currently occupy two-thirds majorities in both houses of the Diet, enough to initiate a referendum.

While Abe repeats remarks that suggest he is ready to make constitutional revision come true, he maintains an observer position in terms of Diet discussions on the matter.

Abe made a speech at the assembly of a multipartisan association to create a new constitution, chaired by former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, on May 1.

"We have opposition lawmaker Mr. (Nobuyuki) Fukushima (of the Democratic Party) with us here. It would be best if everyone can agree" on constitutional amendment, Abe said.

The largest opposition Democratic Party, along with other opposition forces including the Japanese Communist Party, is against constitutional revision under the Abe government. Nevertheless, the prime minister hopes that those parties outside the "pro-amendment camp" show willingness to compromise on the matter, because he believes that initiating a bill to revise the supreme law with as many yea votes as possible in the Diet would lead to success for pro-amendment forces in a referendum.

Read the full story at The Mainichi