Japanese PM Kishida calls for revision of Constitution

Japanese PM Kishida calls for revision of Constitution

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida appears in a video message shown at a May 3 gathering sponsored by a group in favor of constitutional revision. The Constitution should be adapted better to the current times, including changes that would strengthen the government's response to emergency situations, said Naotaka Fujita Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Kishida appeared in a video message delivered at a gathering of a group pushing constitutional revision on May 3, which was Constitution Day, a national holiday.

Kishida said that amending the Constitution would not be an easy task, but he stressed that attempts to change it should continue.

The constitution was never revised after World War II.

Kishida spoke about the importance of adding a provision to the Constitution to deal with major emergencies, and pointing out the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the novel coronaviruses epidemic.

He also called for early passage of four changes proposed by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, including a clear legal definition of the status of the Self-Defense Forces.

Kishida praised the ongoing debate on the Constitution in the commissions of the two chambers of the Diet, but added that the major player in constitutional revision is the general public. We need to increase the momentum for this revision. The Constitutional revisions require approval from two-thirds of Diet members, as well as public support from a majority in a national referendum.

The gathering was attended by lawmakers from parties enthusiastic about revising the Constitution, such as the LDP, junior coalition partner Komeito, Nippon Ishin Japan Innovation Party and the Democratic Party for the People.

The predecessors of Kishida, Yoshihide Suga and Shinzo Abe, delivered video messages at past gatherings sponsored by the same group on Constitution Day.

Other opposition party members attended a conference organized by groups that oppose the pacifist constitution.

Soichiro Okuno of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan called for cooperation among opposition parties in the summer's Upper House election to prevent elements from revising the Constitution from gaining two-thirds of the seats in that chamber.