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LDP, Nippon Ishin agree to initiate talks on constitutional amendment

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party) have agreed to initiate discussions later this month to narrow down the list of items for constitutional amendment. Through this, the two parties hope to reenergize the stalled discussions at the Upper and Lower House Commissions on the Constitution.

 

The LDP’s Gen Nakatani, former defense minister and head secretary for the ruling parties at the Lower House commission, approached Nippon Ishin Secretary-General Nobuyuki Baba. The two parties’ Diet members on the commission will put forward priority items for constitutional amendment and then discuss the proposals together. The group also hopes to create a strategy for reaching a consensus among the full range of legislators, including those in the Democratic Party (DP) and Komeito.

 

Although some members of the ruling parties think “it would be advisable to obtain agreement from the largest opposition party before proceeding with deliberations on constitutional revision,” the two parties decided they needed to move forward with narrowing down the list of items without the DP because that party has adopted a rigid stance on constitutional amendment.

 

Nippon Ishin wants to achieve “free education,” which the party included in its draft revised constitution. The LDP has expressed a certain degree of understanding on this matter. Since the Upper House election last summer, Nippon Ishin’s position has moved closer to that of the Abe administration. (Abridged)

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