Lawmakers on a constitutional panel slammed a report issued by the panel on Friday, stating that the document had been edited to bolster pro-amendment views.
“I can’t think of the report as anything other than a version favorable to constitutional amendments — a version that goes over themes certain to be a bone of contention,” said Naoaki Haruna, a member of the Japanese Communist Party.
The JCP opposes constitutional changes.
The report, compiled by the Research Commission on the Constitution at the House of Representatives, was submitted to speaker Tamisuke Watanuki after the panel spent two years and nine months discussing which aspects of the Constitution, if any, should be amended.
It offers opposing perspectives on various constitutional issues, with roughly one-sixth of the text devoted to the war-renouncing Article 9.
The report follows the same organization as the Constitution. It starts with a debate on the preamble, followed by an analysis of the Imperial system, national security and international cooperation.
The research panel originally studied themes such as the process in which the Constitution was formulated and major court rulings involving unconstitutionality.
Four sub-panels investigated general themes such as basic human rights and the structure of the political system.
The report features opinions expressed by panel members that were not discussed in depth, along with comments from panelists and experts that follow the thrust of these views.
While the document dwells on collective security and the legality of the Self-Defense Forces under the security and international cooperation category, panel minutes show that these themes were never discussed.
“We left the structure of the report to the commission’s secretariat, which is fair and neutral,” said Taro Nakayama, the commission chairman and a member of the Liberal Democratic Party.
Okiharu Yasuoka, another LDP member, said, “The report introduces a variety of contentious issues in line with the Constitution in an objective manner.”
Tetsuo Kaneko, a member of the Social Democratic Party, an opposition party that opposes amendments, said the report would be more accurate if discussions had been compiled in chronological order.
Nakayama has indicated it will take another two to three years to consolidate views on constitutional amendments before submitting a final report.
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