(Sankei: November 29, 2015 – p. 1)
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended a gathering of the “Sosei Nippon” suprapartisan group of conservative lawmakers, chaired by him, held on the night of Nov. 28 in Tokyo. After referring to the fact that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party celebrated the 60th anniversary of its founding, Abe expressed his eagerness to amend the Constitution, saying, “Our party’s original mission is to reform the structures of various sectors created during the Allied occupation era, including constitutional amendments.” He also said: “In order to push forward with the move to amend the Constitution, I ask your support for the House of Councillors election next year.”
At an Upper House Budget Committee meeting on Nov. 11, Abe stated: “The understanding of the public is indispensable for constitutional reform. Specific amendments will be decided in due course during national debate.” On Nov. 28, he clearly expressed his determination to make efforts to amend the Constitution. He apparently aims to strengthen the unity of conservative members ahead of the regular Diet session next year and the Upper House race.
In the gathering, former Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone, deputy chair of the group, emphasized: “We will discuss such issues as the Constitution, while considering what kind of nation Japan should be, and make proposals.”
Takeo Hiranuma, a supreme adviser to the group and former METI minister, sent a message to the gathering, in which he said: “If forces favoring constitutional amendment join together, there is no doubt that there will be a path to constitutional reform.” During the gathering, many participants stressed the need for constitutional reform.
Nineteen Diet members and about 600 people, including local assembly members, attended the gathering.