Three years since its Diet passage, the national referendum law takes effect Tuesday, paving the way for amending the Constitution.

The political situation has undergone drastic change since 2007, when then hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of the Liberal Democratic Party created the bill to establish procedures for a national referendum to revise the nation's charter.

Since then the LDP has been ousted from power, the pacifist Social Democratic Party — which adamantly opposes revising the Constitution — is now a part of the ruling coalition, and the amendment push has taken a back seat to other pressing issues.