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INTERVIEW: Japan Communist Party sees no need for constitutional revision

Tokyo, Aug. 21 (Jiji Press) — Japanese lawmakers need to focus on issues other than constitutional amendment, Keiji Kokuta, the Japanese Communist Party’s parliamentary affairs chief, said in a recent interview.

There is no need for parliament to hold discussions on constitutional amendment, Kokuta said. “There’s no need for parliament to propose constitutional revisions. Nobody wants it,” he said.

“There are many other issues that need to be addressed,” Kokuta said, citing October’s consumption tax increase, public pensions, strained ties with South Korea and tensions in the Middle East.

In July’s election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of parliament, opposition parties, which are against constitutional revisions, won more than one-third of seats, Kokuta said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party failed to win a majority of seats, and forces in favor of constitutional amendment, including the LDP and others, failed to secure two-thirds, he said.

“Japanese people said ‘No’ to an attempt to revise the Constitution in a hasty manner that sets a deadline,” Kokuta said.

He dismissed the notion that any revision proposal will be rejected in a national referendum if Japanese people do not want any revision. “Abe and his close aides would do anything to change the Constitution,” Kokuta said.

Asked about the LDP’s revision proposals, he said the party’s goal is to effectively invalidate the constitutional clause that bans Japan from possessing any war potential. “It became clear that the LDP’s purpose is to make the Japan-U.S. alliance a bloody alliance,” he said.

He brushed aside the view that opposition parties will be out of step over the issue of constitutional amendment. They are in agreement not to allow any revision to be put up for a national referendum under the Abe administration, he said.

Kokuta vowed to block Abe’s attempt to put a revised constitution into effect next year. “We will create a national movement to stop the tenacious efforts of Abe, who is determined to do anything for his ambition.”

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