The Diet on Monday passed a bill to establish procedures for a national referendum to revise the Constitution. The bill was a key agenda item for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a conservative who has repeatedly stressed his intention to revise the Constitution, which was drafted in 1947 under the Allied Occupation.

According to Article 96 of the Constitution, any changes to the charter must have two-thirds of the vote in both Diet chambers, followed by a national referendum. No legal framework to hold a referendum had been set for 60 years.

Why is this bill significant?