Although candidates' campaigns for the July 21 Upper House election are not scheduled to officially start until July 4, political parties have begun presenting their campaign promises as the Diet session ended Wednesday. Among the important issues at stake in this election is an attempt at constitutional revision by some parties.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has long called for the weakening of Article 96, which is designed to prevent an imprudent revision of the Constitution.

Since public surveys have shown that a majority of people oppose such a move, Mr. Abe these days have played down his call for revision. But the Liberal Democratic Party in April last year announced its draft revisions of the Constitution, including Article 96, and they feature in the party's campaign promises.