• Kyodo


New Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi said Sunday the debate over lifting the ban on collective self-defense may affect his party’s coalition with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who heads the conservative LDP, is intending to lift the ban by changing the government’s interpretation of the war-renouncing Constitution.

But Yamaguchi said on NHK that Abe’s priorities are misplaced.

“The Constitution is an extremely important law of the state. In discussions of this issue, the future of the coalition government should be taken into account,” Yamaguchi said.

“People expect the coalition government to put priority on economic recovery and rebuilding from the March 2011 disasters.”

LDP Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba meanwhile said on a Fuji TV program that a bill for a fundamental law on national security to allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense will be submitted to the Diet next spring or later, “after the budget for fiscal 2014 is enacted.”

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