Democratic Party (DP) President Katsuya Okada submitted on June 29 an open letter to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party [LDP]), in which Okada sought Abe’s views on contentious topics in the campaign for the House of Councillors election such as constitutional amendment and the economy. Okada requested a response by June 30.
Pointing out that Abe has not mentioned constitutional revision in his campaign speeches even though he said in his New Year’s message in January that he will advocate it in the Upper House election, Okada asked Abe to explain what he meant. Referring to Abe’s comment in a TV program on June 24 that “it would be difficult under the present situation” to amend Article 9 of the Constitution, Okada asked: “Does this mean you will not address the issue while you are in office?”
Okada also demanded that Abe explain the scale of financial resources for economic stimulus measures he ordered the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy on June 28 to compile as well as fiscal resources for improving social welfare programs after the consumption tax hike was postponed again.
Okada sent the open letter to Abe because his request for holding a party-leaders debate was rejected.