Differences have emerged within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) over specific items to be included in constitutional revisions.
The LDP intends to submit a package of revisions to multiple clauses that the party proposes for a national referendum. However, differences on what to include, along with the declining approval rating for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, have cast a shadow over efforts to form an intraparty consensus during an extraordinary Diet session this coming autumn.
The LDP Headquarters for the Promotion of Revision to the Constitution on Aug. 1 ended its discussions on four themes in proposed constitutional amendments.
Headquarter members reached broad agreement on elimination of House of Councillors constituencies comprised of two neighboring prefectures and adding the definition of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to the war-renouncing Constitution. However, the meeting shed light on differences on the other themes.
Okiharu Yasuoka, leader of the headquarters, expressed enthusiasm about coordinating views within the party in line with the prime minister's aim to submit proposed revisions to the Diet during the extraordinary session. "We'll sort out the issues with an eye to reaching a final consensus," Yasuoka said.
However, another senior member of the headquarters pointed out that the depth of discussions at the headquarters has varied largely from theme to theme.
The headquarters had intended to resume discussions on Aug. 29 with the aim of working out drafts of clauses in these four themes, but will likely postpone it.
Following Prime Minister Abe's proposal in May to revise the supreme law to clearly define the existence of the SDF, the LDP Headquarters for the Promotion of Revision to the Constitution began discussions on four themes in June.
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