Japan’s Abe to push pacifist constitution reform after strong election win


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe buoyed by a huge election win for lawmakers who favour revising Japan’s post-war, pacifist constitution, signalled a push towards his long-held goal on Monday but will need to convince a divided public to succeed.

Parties in favour of amending the U.S.-drafted charter won nearly 80 percent of the seats in Sunday’s lower house election, media counts showed.

That left the small, new Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) as the biggest group opposed to Abe’s proposed changes.

Formed by liberal members of the Democratic Party, which imploded before the election and no longer exists in the lower house, the CDPJ won 55 seats, a final count by public broadcaster NHK shows. That is a fraction of the ruling bloc’s two-thirds majority of 313 seats in the 465-member chamber.

Abe said he wanted to get other parties on board, including Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike’s new conservative Party of Hope, and was not insisting on a target of changing the constitution by 2020 that he floated this year.

Any revision of the constitution requires support from two-thirds of the members of both chambers of parliament and a majority in a public referendum, with no minimum quorum.



Source:  News agencies