• Jiji


Kenta Izumi, one of the four candidates in the race to lead Japan’s top opposition party, expressed his readiness during a TV program Sunday to hold active parliamentary debates on the Constitution.

The other three candidates for the Nov. 30 election to pick the next leader of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan indicated they would accept such debates in principle, but stressed the need to ensure the environment is right in order to hold careful discussions.

“The CDP is a political party that puts weight on debating the Constitution, and I’m ready to fully discuss the country’s supreme law at the Diet’s commissions on the Constitution,” said Izumi, who now serves as the CDP’s policy chief.

Regarding the notion that the CDP could outright reject any constitutional discussions, Izumi said that he believes many members of the public do not support a strategy of staging “physical resistance” in Diet deliberations.

Of the other three candidates, Seiji Osaka, a former prime ministerial special adviser, said: “We should thoroughly hold discussions on the Constitution. But reckless discussions would be problematic.”

Junya Ogawa, a former parliamentary vice minister for internal affairs and communications, also indicated a cautious stance.

But he also said that “positive and constructive discussions” should be held on specific issues, pointing to the need to confirm the stance of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Chinami Nishimura, former state minister of health, labor and welfare, said that constitutional revision talks should be held.

But she voiced opposition to the LDP’s proposal to add an article to the Constitution on the handling of emergencies, saying, “We would be able to deal with such situations partly by amending existing laws.”

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