First lady Akie Abe suggested there will be no need to change the rules in order to extend the term of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
There are calls for changing the LDP’s rules to extend Abe’s term as president of the party by two years through 2020.
In a recent interview, Akie Abe noted the positives of staying in the post for a long time, such as building relations based on trust with the leaders of other countries.
But she said, “I think it would be good for my husband to follow the existing rule about his term.”
Referring to her husband’s zeal for amending the Constitution, Akie Abe stressed the importance of the public holding calm discussions.
“As 70 years have passed since the Constitution was promulgated, there are items that are out of place these days,” she said. “At a time when the course of security issues is unknown, discussions are needed about whether the Constitution should be kept as it is.”
Pointing to the continuing obstacles faced by women to keep working after marriage and childbirth, the first lady called for a society in which women can achieve what they want.
Akie Abe voiced expectations for active participation by young people in politics. “High school students that I know think about society well and believe that they have to build the future,” she said. “I can see a bright future for Japan.”
She said that the consumption tax should not be raised to 10 percent from 8 percent in April 2017 as planned if the increase negates the effects of the prime minister’s Abenomics economic policies.
“Still, it is a difficult decision, amid the country’s declining birthrate and . . . aging population, as the tax hike is needed for improving welfare,” she added.