The surprise bashing of the Abe administration by three noted constitutional scholars — including one favored by the ruling bloc — rekindled debate in the Diet Friday on the constitutionality of the Cabinet's decision last summer to reinterpret war-renouncing Article 9.

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida rebutted the remarks of the three scholars, who were summoned Thursday to address a Lower House session on constitutional affairs, by saying not all academics share their opinion.

"Some academics say it is not unconstitutional," Kishida said at a news conference, adding that many opinions were solicited before the Cabinet unilaterally decided in July last year that Japan could legitimately engage in collective self-defense without amending the Constitution after all.