Abe aims for revision of constitution among other plans for potential re-election

In what might turn out to be a historic extended term in Japanese politics, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reaffirmed on Monday that Japan’s current post-war established pacifist constitution would be revised and a proposal could be submitted to the Parliament later this year.

Abe returned to his role as Prime Minister in 2012 and aimed to boost the country’s economy and strengthen the defence of the country. He is expected to get his term extended again as there are predictions he will be re-elected for another term by defeating former defence minister Shigeru Ishiba in the upcoming September election. If this victory is sealed, then he would be the longest serving Prime Minister in Japan’s history.

The call for change or revision of the current constitution has arisen out of multiple reasons. A major concern regarding the limited and restricted role of the military was raised, as the constitution if literally interpreted bans the maintenance of an army. However, the military is maintained by interpreting the clauses as a medium of “self-defence”. Other major concerns included the historical premise of the constitution itself. Many Japanese conservatives see the constitution as an article of humiliation and defeat in the second World War as it was drafted by the United States.

The revision procedure, however, is a political hurdle. The amendments require an approval of over two-thirds of both houses of parliament and a majority in a referendum vote. The public opinion regarding the issue as well is very divided. Abe also had recently revealed his plans if elected for another term such as up-gradation of infrastructure to withstand the impact of natural disasters the country often faces. Further details regarding these promises have not yet been revealed by his party – the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).


*Rayan Bhattacharya is a Research Intern at The Kootneeti

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