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INTERVIEW: LDP Open to Constitutional Reform Proposals from Others

  • September 27, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 10:01 p.m.
  • English Press
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Tokyo, Sept. 27 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party will respond flexibly to constitutional reform proposals from other parties, LDP leader on the matter Hiroyuki Hosoda said Friday.

 

Hosoda, who made a comeback as head of the LDP Headquarters for the Promotion of Revision of the Constitution earlier this month, mentioned the need for “positive discussions” involving Komeito, the LDP’s junior coalition partner, and some opposition parties.

 

“If revisions (to the LDP’s amendment draft) or new proposals are put forward, we’ll consider them in our party,” Hosoda said in an interview with Jiji Press.

 

Hosoda was in the same post when the LDP wrote in March 2018 a four-point amendment draft including an addition to war-renouncing Article 9 to define the Self-Defense Forces.

 

The reappointment of Hosoda came as the LDP, under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s leadership, is eager to advance parliamentary debate on constitutional reform in an extraordinary session from Oct. 4.

 

“We should finally and actually deepen constitutional amendment talks,” Hosoda said.

 

“The situation changed a little after the House of Councillors election (in July),” he said. “As the LDP-Komeito coalition is short of a two-thirds majority in the Upper House, opposition parties may find it easier to have discussions.”

 

“It’s good to have talks to identify issues, isn’t it?” said the LDP heavyweight, who leads the party faction Abe belonged to before becoming prime minister.

 

Hosoda is seen working first to secure support from Komeito, which is cautious about revising Article 9. He has strong ties with Kazuo Kitagawa, his counterpart in Komeito.

 

Regarding Abe’s goal of putting into effect a revised Constitution in 2020, Hosoda said there is not necessarily a clear prospect of achieving the goal now.

 

Asked whether the LDP will stick to the amendment goal, he said, “It’s inappropriate to specify by when we will finish it, as we are calling on other parties to have talks.”

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