The Islamic State hostage crisis that erupted on Jan. 20 has brought Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's long-held goal of revising the Constitution back into sharp focus.

Many observers suspect that Abe sees the events of the past two weeks as an opportunity to push ahead with his ambition to drastically amend the pacifist Constitution for the first time since the war, although the government denies it.

At the prime minister's office on Wednesday, Abe met with Hajime Funada, head of the department within the Liberal Democratic Party that is pushing for constitutional revision.