|Prime Minister Shinzo Abe|
KOBE (Kyodo) -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Saturday he wants his Liberal Democratic Party to submit proposals on changing Japan's Constitution for discussion during an extraordinary Diet session likely to be convened in the fall.
"I expect LDP proposals to be submitted at the Constitution commissions of the upper and lower houses before the extra Diet session ends," Abe said in a speech in Kobe, indicating his eagerness to step up discussion within the ruling party to realize the first-ever amendment of the country's postwar Constitution.
Abe, who doubles as LDP president, has set a year-end deadline for the LDP to devise its amendment proposals and it had been widely believed the party would seek to present them to the Constitution commissions in the regular Diet session to be convened early next year.
But the prime minister's latest remarks mean that the party may have to finish drawing up its proposals earlier than initially thought, depending on the length of the extraordinary Diet session.
A senior LDP member said, "We need to somewhat speed up the work."
The Japanese Communist Party reacted coldly, with party chief Kazuo Shii saying that what Abe needs to do now is satisfactorily address the allegations of favoritism leveled against him and the government over a school opening project, rather than rolling out a new schedule on constitutional reform.
Read the full story at The Mainichi