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POLITICS > Political Parties

Maehara, Edano discuss constitutional revision, opposition realignment

  • August 27, 2017
  • , NHK
  • JMH Summary

NHK’s Sunday morning “Nichiyo Toron” featured a live debate between the two Democratic Party presidential candidates, former Foreign Minister Maehara and former Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano. They were at odds on several issues, such as Prime Minister Abe’s goal of revising the nation’s supreme law in 2020 and a proposed realignment of opposition parties. While stressing the importance of conducting a nationwide debate on constitutional reform, Maehaha said Abe’s idea of the Diet initiating an amendment next year for a national referendum is not realistic. Edano said there is no need to change the Constitution right now, adding that the DP must spearhead a campaign to preserve it. Maehara said he is willing to seek a partnership with like-minded politicians in other opposition parties, including those affiliated with the Tokyo Governor Koike-led “Tomin First” Party on the condition that they share the same political values and seek the same policy goals. On the other hand, Edano was negative about pursuing opposition realignment by explaining that the DP must reconstruct itself to become a viable opposition entity without reaching out to other opposition groups. They also differed on the party’s cooperation with the Japanese Communist Party in the next general election, with Maehara cautious about teaming up with a party that “calls for the abrogation of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty,” whereas Edano said close coordination with the communists is imperative for defeating the ruling coalition.  

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