• Kyodo News

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New Komeito will refrain from supporting the Liberal Democratic Party in the upcoming House of Councilors election if Prime Minister Shinzo Abe goes too far in calling for amending the Constitution, the head of New Komeito warned Sunday.

New Komeito is the LDP’s junior partner in the ruling coalition. Party leader Akihiro Ota said on a TV Asahi talk show that New Komeito will tolerate Abe seeking constitutional revisions in general terms, but “will have to hesitate in giving support if fundamentally different ideas from ours are called for.”

Abe is aiming to rewrite the postwar Constitution during his term in office, but New Komeito is cautious, with Ota reiterating its opposition to enabling Japan to exercise the right to collective defense (using force to counter an attack on an ally), which until now the government has deemed forbidden by the Constitution.

“What is important is the substance,” Ota said. “It would make no sense if we do not discuss what should be revised in the Constitution.”

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