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Ruling, opposition lawmakers discuss North Korea, constitutional revision, anti-conspiracy bill

NHK’s “Nichiyo Toron” Sunday debate show aired a discussion by secretaries general and other senior lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties. All the participants strongly condemned North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile at around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. However, Democratic Party Deputy Secretary General Fukuyama criticized Prime Minister Abe for “responding too slowly” to the threat posed by the DPRK by pointing out that the premier arrived at the Kantei an hour after the missile launch. Japanese Communist Party Secretariat head Koike stressed that North Korean issues should be resolved through dialogue with Pyongyang. Concerning Prime Minister Abe’s idea of revising the Constitution to make the SDF’s existence explicit in the language of the Constitution while retaining Article 9 and putting the revisions into effect in 2020, Fukuyama, Koike, and some other opposition panelists expressed strong opposition. However, Nippon Ishin Secretary General Baba and Party for Japanese Kokoro Secretary General Nakano expressed support. The opposition panelists were similarly divided over the so-called anti-conspiracy bill.

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