The ruling and opposition parties are stepping up their maneuvering over constitutional revision. In light of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s statement at a Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) meeting on Jan. 22 calling for speeding up the drafting of constitutional amendment proposals, the party is poised to accelerate the debate in the party. On the other hand, the LDP’s coalition partner Komeito maintains its cautious stance. The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ), the leading opposition party, adopts the approach of not engaging in LDP-led discussions.
The following are recent remarks by leading ruling party and opposition officials on constitutional revision:
Abe (LDP president): Constitutional revision has been a key basic policy of the LDP since its founding. Now is the time to realize this policy. (at a general meeting of LDP members of both houses of the Diet, Jan. 22)
Hiromi Yoshida, LDP secretary general in the House of Councillors: An interim report (on constitutional revision proposals) is likely to be presented to the party convention in March. We would like to submit amendment motions (to the Diet) as soon as possible. (at a news conference on Jan. 23)
Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi: We will enter the debate with a clean slate and consider our response after observing how the deliberation in the Commissions on the Constitution goes. (in the Diet on Jan. 22)
CDPJ leader Yukio Edano: The Prime Minister said in his speech that a constitution “spells out the shape and ideal of the state.” This is a misconception of the constitution. (at the CDPJ standing officers’ council meeting on Jan. 23)
Party of Hope leader Yuichiro Tamaki: I would like to see the conclusion the LDP comes up with on Article 9. (at a news conference on Jan. 23)
Former Democratic Party President Katsuya Okada: We will create a forum in the party for thorough discussions on the constitution in due course. (at a news conference on Jan. 23)