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Upper House lawmaker Shigeharu Aoyama | KYODO
Upper House lawmaker Shigeharu Aoyama | KYODO

Some conservative members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party issued a statement on Thursday opposing an ordinance proposed by the city of Musashino in Tokyo to allow foreign residents to vote in local referendums.

“(The draft ordinance) would lead to easily granting foreign nationals rights equivalent to suffrage,” the statement said, urging the city assembly to make a careful decision.

The draft ordinance calls for local referendums to be held without approval by the assembly if the required number of signatures are obtained. Both Japanese residents, as well as foreign people who have lived in the city for at least three months, would have the right to vote in referendums.

At a news conference, Shigeharu Aoyama, a House of Councillors lawmaker, who heads the group of LDP conservative members, said the proposed ordinance is expected to have a major impact on national politics as the themes of the referendums could be virtually unlimited.

Meanwhile, Kazuo Shii, leader of the Japanese Communist Party, told reporters at a separate news conference that he is in favor of the proposed ordinance.

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