National / Politics

DPP leader Tamaki proposes meeting with Abe to discuss revising Japan's Constitution

JIJI

Democratic Party for the People leader Yuichiro Tamaki on Thursday proposed a meeting to discuss constitutional reform with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

On an online broadcast program provided by Bunkajin Hosokyoku, Tamaki also said his party will accept Abe’s proposal to hold debates on constitutional revision at the Diet.

Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party and other forces supporting the constitutional amendment lost their two-thirds majority in the House of Councilors in Sunday’s election, the minimum level necessary for such a revision to pass through the upper chamber.

Abe is therefore seeking cooperation from constitutional reformists in the DPP, an opposition party whose Upper House seats decreased in the election.

“I’m completely reborn now,” Tamaki said on the program. “We’ll discuss constitutional reform.”

“We’ll form a consensus as an organization, and I want to talk about it (with Abe) as political party heads,” Tamaki also said.

He added that he does not necessarily approve of the LDP’s four-point amendment proposal that includes the addition of a provision on the Self-Defense Forces to the Constitution’s war-renouncing Article 9.

The LDP and other parties supporting constitutional reform aim to enact at an early date a bill they introduced to revise the law to make referendums more convenient for voters, so that the LDP can present its constitutional amendment proposal to the Diet.

In May, the DPP submitted a separate bill to revise the law for constitutional amendment to include tighter regulations on political advertisements in the lead-up to referendums. Discussions on the measure are to be carried over to a future Diet session.

In an expected extraordinary Diet session in autumn, the constitutional reformist camp may hold talks with the DPP to integrate their bills and create joint legislation to revise the national referendum law, observers said.