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INTERVIEW: Abe says atmosphere ripe for constitutional reform

Tokyo, Dec. 19 (Jiji Press)–Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a recent interview with Jiji Press that “the atmosphere has become ripe” for carrying out constitutional reform in Japan.


Abe made the comment as he referred to the fact that parties advocating constitutional reform increased their seats in the Oct. 31 House of Representatives election, namely the Liberal Democratic Party-led ruling coalition, as well as the Democratic Party for the People and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) in the opposition camp.


In 2017, when he was in office as prime minister, Abe set a goal to revise Japan’s Constitution and bring the amended top law into effect in 2020, in a video message sent to a gathering of supporters of constitutional reform.


Abe said he set such a goal with the aim of creating a momentum for revision to the Constitution. Looking ahead, he said related debates should be left to the commissions on the Constitution in both chambers of the Diet, Japan’s parliament.


On Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s administration, Abe said the ruling parties’ major victory in the Lower House election in October formed the basis for a stable government. “From now on, the government’s ability to get things done will be put to the test,” he added.


Abe denied the possibility of returning to the post of prime minister, saying, “It’s my responsibility to support the Kishida administration.”


Meanwhile, Abe said he believes LDP Secretary-General Toshimitsu Motegi would be one of likely candidates to succeed Kishida.


Also in the interview, conducted on Wednesday, Abe commented on the situation surrounding Taiwan. Stressing the need to be aware that the situation is already not calm, he said, “It’s important for Japan to strengthen cooperation with the international community.”

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