Lawmakers to form group on revising Constitution

Lawmakers from noncommunist parties will next week form a new group with the intention of creating a regular Diet committee and holding talks on revising the Constitution.

The move is expected to attract public attention due to the sensitive nature of the issue of reviewing the war-renouncing Constitution. Some 150 legislators from five political parties — the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, New Party Sakigake, Shinshinto, the Democratic Party of Japan and the Taiyo Party, a splinter group of Shinshinto — will form the new body, according to former Foreign Minister Taro Nakayama, leader of the group.

At present, no member of the Social Democratic Party is expected to join. The SDP maintains protection of the current Constitution as an important pillar policy. In preliminary meetings, the lawmakers have agreed to at least begin examining whether the 50-year-old Constitution should be reviewed in accordance with social changes, Nakayama said.