The campaign for the Dec. 16 Lower House election began Tuesday with candidates running from a dozen parties. The election results will have a great impact not only on people’s daily lives but also on the general future direction of Japan. Voters should carefully weigh each party’s stance on various issues before casting their ballots.

While Japan faces pressing issues such as how to revive the nation’s economic activities, how to stabilize people’s lives, including rectification of the rich-poor gap, and what to do about nuclear power generation, the most critical issue is the one related to the Constitution, the supreme law that determines the basic character of the nation. The Liberal Democratic Party and some so-called third-pole forces including the Japan Restoration Party are calling for a revision of the Constitution, which would include a revision of the war-renouncing Article 9, and the exercise of the right to collective self-defense.

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