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Former UK PM advised Japanese Lower House delegation on referendums

  • November 8, 2017
  • , Yomiuri , p. 4
  • JMH Translation

A supra-partisan delegation sent by the House of Representatives Commission on the Constitution in July to the UK and other countries to study constitutional revision and the referendum system has compiled a report on its findings.


Former British Prime Minister David Cameron explained the difficulty of obtaining support in a referendum. He gave the advice that “at least around 60 percent support in advance surveys is necessary.”


The UK held a referendum in June 2016 on Brexit. Cameron favored remaining in the EU but lost in the referendum with a slim margin and was forced to resign. He recalled this experience and noted that “in order to win, it is important to begin activities at an early stage.


The British parliament abolished the prime minister’s power to dissolve parliament by enacting a law fixing the MPs’ term of office in 2011, when Cameron was in power. Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan leader Yukio Edano has cited restrictions to the cabinet’s power to dissolve the Lower House as an issue for constitutional revision with this law in mind. (Slightly abridged)

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