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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling LDP Changes startegy on Constitution Change, Japan Election News 2013, Japanese Counseller Elections in July 2013, Japan News

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling LDP Changes startegy on Constitution Change, Japan Election News 2013, Japanese Counseller Elections in July 2013, Japan News

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party is changing its strategy for rewriting the country’s pacifist constitution ahead of parliamentary elections in July, a party executive said.
The LDP will omit from its platform Abe’s pledge to first make it easier to overhaul the constitution by lowering the bar for enacting amendments, party policy chief Sanae Takaichi said today in Tokyo. Abe has repeatedly called for changing Article 96 of the charter to allow parliament to pass amendments by a simple majority rather than the current two-thirds.
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Traffic moves past the National Diet building in Tokyo. Photographer: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg
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May 24 (Bloomberg) -- Marie Owens Thomsen, chief economist at Credit Agricole Private Banking, talks about the outlook for the U.S. and Asia's economies and financial markets. She speaks in Hong Kong with Rishaad Salamat on Bloomberg Television's "On the Move." (Source: Bloomberg)
“This isn’t about what may or may not come of Article 96, but about constitutional reform, which is firmly written into the platform,” Takaichi told reporters.
While polls show backing for Abe’s policies to revive the world’s third-largest economy, voters are less supportive of his goal to revise the constitution. With bond yields rising and stocks fluctuating, the debate over how to amend the document is a distraction for an LDP aiming for a majority in the upper house elections, political analyst Aiji Tanaka said.
“He’s taking the safer path,” said Tanaka, a professor of political science at Waseda University in Tokyo. “What he wants to do is win the upper house election and get rid of the hung parliament so he can pass various bills. If he starts to push Article 96 at a time like this, it could sully his image and affect the scale of victory.”
Japanese stocks yesterday fell the most since the March 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster, with the benchmark Topix Index (TPX) losing 6.9 percent. The index today gained 0.5 percent. Ten-year Japanese bond yields were unchanged at 0.835 percent after rising to 1 percent yesterday for the first time in more than a year.
‘Public Pledge’
During a visit to Turkey on May 3, Abe told reporters that revising Article 96 “will be a public pledge in the upcoming upper house election.”
The prime minister advocates revising the constitution for the first time as part of plans to strengthen the military as Japan confronts a territorial conflict with China and threats from North Korea’s nuclear program. The U.S.-drafted document was imposed on Japan after World War II and the LDP has advocated changing it since the party was founded in 1955.
Seven percent of respondents in an April 23 Mainichi newspaper poll said constitutional reform was the most important issue in the July election, compared with 35 percent who cited the economy. No margin of error was provided.

source: bloomberg.com

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