February 07, 2015
Prime Minister Expresses Eagerness for Amending the Constitution
On January 14, Prime Minister Abe appeared on a TV show called Super News Anchor. In response to a question by Shigeharu Aoyama about the Japan Innovation Party’s support for amending the constitution, Abe expressed his own eagerness to amend the Constitution. Abe said, “It has been almost 70 years since the Constitution has been created. When the Constitution was drafted, Japan was under occupation. It is hard to say that it was created solely by the hands of the Japanese people. Therefore, I believe that any constitution reflecting the ideal Japanese image of government must be written by Japanese people. I think the Constitution is a tool for us to talk about our future. I believe that it is our aspiration to draft our own Constitution that paves the path into the future. In this sense, I would like to express respect for the fact that the Japan Innovation Party is working positively on amending the Constitution. At the moment, positive debates on amending the Constitution are happening at the Constitution Research Council. I expect that the arguments about which articles should be amended will be refined there.”
You mentioned that you express respect for the opinions of the Japan Innovation Party on amending the Constitution. Does this mean that it is possible that you will cooperate with the Japan Innovation Party on amending Constitution?
At this very moment, amending the Constitution is being debated by the Constitution Research Council. A procedure to lower the age of referendum has been also been completed. For now, I should refrain from talking about which articles should be amended. I think the direction the constitutional amendments process goes will depend on which articles we choose to amend. Amending the Constitution is not possible with only the effort of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), or even the members of the coalition government (LDP and Komei Party). Given this background, I appreciate that the Japan Innovation Party is in favor of amending Constitution. I hope we can get a two-thirds majority in favor of amending the Constitution in both the Lower and Upper Houses. As for choosing which article that we should be amending, we will be debating it for a period of time. I hope that we can advance the discussion and reach a result that the Japan Innovation Party and the coalition government can support.
(Source: January 14, 2015. Super News Anchor, Kansai TV)