(Yomiuri: January 15, 2015 – p. 2)
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed strong determination for constitutional reform on a Kansai Telecasting program on Jan. 14, saying, “It is hard to say the Japanese people created the Constitution on their own. We should establish a new constitution appropriate for Japan in the 21st century.” He then called for the cooperation of the Japan Innovation Party, saying, “The creation of a new constitution cannot be done by the ruling coalition alone. I hope the JIP agrees with us.”
Asked about Osaka City Mayor Toru Hashimoto’s blueprint for making Osaka Prefecture a metropolitan administrative unit like the Tokyo metropolitan government, Abe gave high marks to the idea, saying, “It is of great significance in that it will put an end to the dual administration. If it is approved by a majority in a referendum (slated for May), I want to take the necessary steps without objection.” Hashimoto serves as supreme advisor to the JIP.