Constitutional amendments are not high on the agenda of parties campaigning for the Dec. 14 Lower House election. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has advocated revising the Constitution as a key part of his bid for “departure from the postwar regime,” says he does not see rising momentum among the public for altering the supreme code. After his earlier calls for amending Article 96 to make it easier for the Diet to propose a constitutional revision failed to win broad support, the prime minister took the route of changing the government’s interpretation of the war-renouncing Article 9 in July to pave the way for Japan to engage in collective self-defense.
Still, speculation goes that he will have his eyes set on revising the Constitution if he succeeds in retaining his Liberal Democratic Party’s solid grip on power in the election. An LDP victory will most likely secure Abe’s re-election as the party’s chief next September for another three-year term. Voters should be aware that a constitutional amendment could be put on the table depending on the result of the ongoing race.
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