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Tuesday, 21st June 2016
In General Japan News,

Almost half of Upper House candidates oppose constitution rewrite

Nearly half of the candidates set to stand in the Upper House elections in Japan next month are opposed to rewriting the country’s constitution.

This is according to a survey carried out by Kyodo News, which looked to find out the sentiment with regard to prime minister Shinzo Abe’s plans to change the post-war document.

Questionnaires were sent out to 351 prospective candidates and gained 309 responses. Of these, 46.6 per cent said they did not support revisions to the national charter and a scrapping of Article 9, which renounces war.

On the other side of the argument, 34.6 per cent of respondents said they backed the move put forward by Abe.

When it comes to priorities for Japan moving forward, 60 per cent of the candidates expected to stand in the July elections to the Upper House said that injecting life into the economy sits at the top.

The divisive issue of whether or not Article 9 should remain is causing fractions within the current coalition that is ruling the country.

With 72.1 per cent of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) showing their support, you could think it is a popular proposal, but none of the Buddhist-backed Komeito Party, which is in coalition with Abe’s party, agree with the plan.

The election for the Upper House is expected to be held around July 10th, although the date has not yet been finalised.

If the LDP is successful then there is a chance the changes to the constitution could be enacted.

It would require a two-thirds majority in both houses of parliament and would then go to a referendum, allowing the Japanese people to have the final say.

Article 9 outlaws war as a way of dealing with international disputes, so changing it or removing it could have a huge impact on Japanese foreign policy.

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