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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 June 21 - 27  > Tokyo Metro Assembly election provides good opportunity to stop Abe’s move to revise pacifist Constitution
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2017 June 21 - 27 [POLITICS]

Tokyo Metro Assembly election provides good opportunity to stop Abe’s move to revise pacifist Constitution

June 27, 2017
Akahata editorial (excerpt)

On May 3, Constitution Memorial Day, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo announced that he will seek to add to Article 9 of the Constitution a new clause to legitimize the Self-Defense Forces. He also said that he will have this amendment take effect in 2020. Recently, he went a step further. Abe, who is the president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, in a lecture meeting held on June 24 said that the LDP will present a draft constitution to the Commissions on the Constitution of both Houses of the Diet in this autumn’s extraordinary Diet session. On the following day, LDP Acting Secretary-General Shimomura Hakubun said that the party’s draft amendment will be drawn up by early November. However, the Constitution Commissions of both Diet chambers have had no discussions on a revision of the supreme law and the LDP’s taskforce on constitutional amendments just began its deliberation on the issue. Nevertheless, Abe is pushing forward with his ambition to adopt a new constitution with abnormally intense enthusiasm. The July 2 Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election will provide a good opportunity for Tokyoites to express their opposition to Abe’s move to revise the war-renouncing Article 9, and people outside Tokyo are also paying close attention to how the major local election will turn out.

Regarding changes to the Constitution, PM Abe proposed inserting a clause to Article 9 without changing its first and second paragraphs as he proposed last month. He also said that a revised constitution should have another stipulation on free education at all levels. According to Abe, the planned clause under Article 9 should mention what the SDF is for and what the SDF can do. The existing Article 9 stipulates that Japan shall renounce war, have no war potential, and deny the right of belligerency. With the enactment of the war laws paving the way for Japan’s use of the collective self-defense right and for Japan’s involvement in U.S. wars, if a new clause specifies the SDF’s ambitions, it will turn this Article 9 into a dead letter and will eliminate all restrictions on the SDF’s use of force. Abe’s attack on Article 9 is a blatant move to destroy the pacifist principle of the Constitution.

The results of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election will influence the course of discussions in this year’s extraordinary session of the Diet, in which PM Abe plans to introduce the LDP’s draft constitution. People both inside and outside Tokyo should do their best to block Abe’s move to adversely change the Constitution.
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