May 3 was Constitution Memorial Day. Since its promulgation 73 years ago, Japan's postwar Constitution has remained untouched. Many reasons for this have been cited, including the length (4,986 words compared with the median 13,630 words), its vagueness and its flexibility to handle changing circumstances. In short, amending the Constitution has been deemed unnecessary.
Yet the Liberal Democratic Party and its leader, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, would beg to differ. Since the party’s inception in 1955, the LDP has been dead set on revising the Constitution and adding certain elements to it. A major hurdle has been the need to obtain a two-thirds majority in the Diet and pass a national referendum. Today, the LDP and its allies do not hold a supermajority in the Upper House, making revision a difficult affair.