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Japan PM eyes constitutional revision after 2016 upper house election: report

(Xinhua)    19:18, February 05, 2015

TOKYO, Feb. 5-- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said it is reasonable to amend the country's constitution after the upper house election scheduled for the summer of 2016, local media reported Thursday.

According to Japan's Asahi Shimbun, Abe expressed his view Wednesday when he talked with Hajime Funada, chairman of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), for the promotion of revision to the constitution.

During the talks, Funada said "Considering the pace of discussions, I think the initiation (of amendments) and a national referendum will take place after the House of Councillors election. " Abe agreed, saying"I think it is a reasonable timing", according to the report.

A draft amendment can be submitted to the Diet if the action is supported by at least 100 Lower House and 50 Upper House lawmakers. The Diet will put the draft to a national referendum if it is approved by at least two thirds vote at each chamber.

Since assuming office late in 2012, Abe has been pressing for a revision of Japan's pacifist constitution, especially Article 9, which forbids the country from taking part in war. Abe has made it his mission to ultimately overturn Article 9 so that Japan can become more directly engaged in overseas campaigns.

However, the move has triggered strong oppositions both at home and abroad. Opinion polls have shown that the majority of voters oppose changing Article 9, and neighboring countries which have suffered Japan's wartime aggression worry that constitutional revision will make Japan's militarism reemerge.

Even LDP's coalition partner Komeito opposes making any overt constitutional revisions, although it might agree to add provisions on environmental rights.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Bianji)

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