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Will Japan’s next PM take a shot at constitutional amendment?

16 10 0

Last weekend, the four candidates for the Liberal Democratic Party presidency — and by default Japan’s next prime minister — made their rounds on televised debates to showcase their vision forward for Japan.

Among the many topics discussed, one was particularly notable: constitutional amendment, something the country has never done before.

All four candidates showed support for an amendment in principle — but what does that actually mean?

Former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida explained that he would support implementing the party’s established four-point revision plan: clarifying the legality of the Self-Defense Forces, adding provisions for emergency powers, electoral district reform and instituting free education.

Administrative reform minister Taro Kono kept his position vague, saying that he would support amendment of the Constitution to match a new era.

The most conservative candidate — former internal affairs minister Sanae Takaichi — stated that there is a need to establish a new Constitution with specific focus on evolving Article 9, the war renunciation clause. Her position most closely reflected the concept of the draft Constitution that the LDP produced in 2012.

The most liberal of the candidates — also a former internal affairs minister — Seiko Noda expressed a desire to determine the points of amendment based on public feedback.

An important political factor at play here is that every single candidate has to voice support for constitutional amendment if they hope for a shot at winning the party presidential race.

Why? It’s not only because constitutional amendment is a high priority for the more conservative camp........

© The Japan Times

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