Pro-constitutional revision parties have retained a two-thirds majority in the Upper House, opening up the possibility that the issue could be taken to a public vote. But while those groups might be tempted to celebrate, a number of issues — ranging from voters’ lack of interest to the death of the movement’s figurehead — stand in the way of actually changing the supreme code.
Following Sunday’s election, the pro-revisionist camp — the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner Komeito, as well as the Democratic Party for the People (DPP) and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) — now holds 179 seats in the upper chamber. The figure tops the 166-seat threshold needed to initiate the process of introducing changes to the Constitution — such as an amendment to the war-renouncing Article 9 aimed at clarifying the legal status of the Self-Defense Forces.
But despite the election results, the pro-revisionist camp needs to overcome various hurdles if it wishes to make that goal a reality. Among them, it would require a considerable amount of time and political energy from Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s administration at a time when it is already facing serious challenges at home and abroad.