11 May 2017

News Story: Abe wants to create new LDP constitutional revision draft including SDF

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he would aim to create the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)'s new draft for a revised Constitution, which would retain two paragraphs in war-renouncing Article 9 while adding a third one providing for the existence of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF), expressing his view that it would be difficult to win two-thirds of the vote in the Diet for initiating constitutional reform with the ruling party's existing draft.

"We have to map out a totally different plan from conventional LDP constitutional amendment drafts, otherwise it would be difficult to win support from two-thirds of Diet lawmakers (in both houses)," Abe told a meeting of the House of Councillors Budget Committee on May 9.

During the meeting, Abe restated his proposal for constitutional revision, which he had announced via a video message on May 3, to retain Paragraph 1 and 2 of Article 9 and add a third paragraph on the existence of the SDF, and that it was the basis for his thoughts on constitutional amendment. He also expressed his intention to draw up a new draft for the revision for the LDP to present to the commissions on the Constitution at both chambers of the Diet.

The ruling party's 2012 draft, which has an explicit provision on the retention of a "national defense army" under Article 9, has been shelved following a strong backlash from opposition parties and experts. While Prime Minister Abe acknowledges the 2012 draft as "the best for the LDP," he has said he recognizes "the cold fact that it would not gain majority support in the Diet."

Read the full story at The Mainichi