76% of election winners support revising Article 9

Two-thirds majority needed to amend 'peace' charter

Kyodo

About 76 percent of the 454 winners in Sunday’s Lower House election who responded to a Kyodo News survey during the campaign seek revision of the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution.

Approval by those 343 winners would fulfill the requirement for constitutional amendments, for which at least two-thirds of the Lower House has to vote yes.

But such a motion must also be supported by two-thirds of the Upper House.

Article 9 stipulates that Japan forever renounces war.

Of the 454 winners Sunday, 45.6 percent called for total revision of the Constitution, 30.0 percent sought partial changes, including to Article 9, 16.1 percent demanded partial amendments to sections other than Article 9 and 4.6 percent were opposed to any revision.

Among the respondents, 81.1 percent advocate lifting the self-imposed ban on Japan’s right to exercise collective self-defense.

On issues not pertaining to the Constitution, 66.5 percent were against joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade talks.

Of the respondents, 39.2 percent said the Constitution should be amended to enable Japan to exercise the right of collective self-defense, 41.9 percent called for a review of the constitutional interpretation to that end and 15.0 percent were opposed to lifting the ban.

On the U.S.-led TPP negotiations, 24.9 percent said Japan should join the talks. Of the respondents from the Liberal Democratic Party, which scored an overwhelming victory to return to power, 84.3 percent were against the country’s entry into TPP talks and 9.6 percent backed it.

On Japan’s energy policy, 61.9 percent of the 454 respondents said the country should gradually reduce its reliance on nuclear power, while 10.1 percent called for a swift departure from nuclear power and 9.7 percent said Japan should not hurry to abandon reactors.

Some 77.5 percent backed the current plan to double the consumption tax to 10 percent, while 19.4 percent were opposed.

In a multiple-answer question on priority issues among challenges faced by Japan, 96.9 percent cited the economy and job creation, 44.9 percent pointed to foreign policy and security issues, and 44.7 percent selected social security system reform.

As for the stalled Japan-U.S. plan to relocate U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma within Okinawa, 81.7 percent said the facility should be transferred within the prefecture as planned, 5.9 percent said it should be moved abroad and 3.3 percent said it should be relocated to another part of Japan.

The 454 consist of 280 LDP members, 55 from the Democratic Party of Japan, 45 from Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), 31 from New Komeito, 18 from Your Party, eight each from Nippon Mirai no To (Tomorrow Party of Japan) and the Japanese Communist Party, two from the Social Democratic Party, one each from New Party Daichi and Kokumin Shinto (People’s New Party), and five independents.