Tokyo, Oct. 11 (Jiji Press)–A key panel of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party decided Friday to establish a committee to boost momentum across the country for revising the Constitution, with senior party officials expected to visit rural areas as part of the initiative.
The decision was made at a plenary meeting of the party’s Headquarters for the Promotion of Revision of the Constitution, led by former Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda. This was the panel’s first plenary meeting since the Sept. 11 reshuffle of the cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the LDP leadership team.
The panel also decided that its acting head, Keiji Furuya, a close aide to Abe, will double as chairman of the new committee. “We need to work actively under the new system,” Hosoda said.
LDP Election Strategy Committee Chairman Hakubun Shimomura is scheduled to give a lecture at a large-scale gathering on the Constitution in the western prefecture of Wakayama, home to LDP Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai, on Oct. 18.
LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Fumio Kishida is slated to discuss the importance of revising the supreme law at a session in the eastern prefecture of Saitama on Oct. 28 and at similar gatherings later this year in the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima and the western prefecture of Hiroshima, which includes his constituency for the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan’s parliament.
In a lecture in the city of Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan, on Friday, Kishida said that the Diet needs to discuss constitutional revisions although there are diverse opinions on the matter.
At Thursday’s meeting of the Lower House Budget Committee, Abe, also head of the party, made remarks suggesting that he is not necessarily sticking to his long-stated goal of putting a revised constitution into force in 2020.
At a meeting of the LDP’s General Council on Friday, Nikai said, “We need to carefully proceed with” the work to revise the top law.
The LDP apparently hopes to create momentum for constitutional revisions from rural areas while demonstrating its stance of carefully promoting the move.
The LDP is also believed to be aiming to put pressure on the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and other opposition parties which are cautious about discussing constitutional revisions at the Diet.