Initiatives from Osaka (Osaka Ishin), a minor opposition party, now has a total of 12 House of Councillors seats, increasing by two seats up for reelection in Sunday’s Upper House election to seven seats. Since the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its coalition partner Komeito are short of the two-thirds majority in the Upper House seats, the minor opposition party will likely be in the position to cast the deciding vote in debates on constitutional amendment in the future. The party also achieved its goal of securing 11 seats that enable it to submit bills in the Upper House.
In March, Initiatives from Osaka drew up a draft plan for constitutional revision focused on reforming the governing system, including a government system that would reorganize Japan’s 47 prefectures into a smaller number of regional blocs, providing free education, and setting up a constitutional court.
At a press conference on the night of July 10, Ichiro Matsui, who heads the party, said, “The time is not ripe” for debating the LDP’s draft for constitutional revision.
However, at a press meeting on July 20, Secretary General Nobuyuki Baba did not express opposition to the revision of Article 9 of the Constitution, if it includes his party’s view. (Slightly abridged)