60% of lower house candidates favor revising Japan’s Constitution

REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Japan’s Prime Minister and the leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Fumio Kishida and his cabinet ministers raise their hands and shout “banzai” (cheers) after the dissolution of the lower house was announced at the Parliament in Tokyo, Japan October 14, 2021.

Revising the Constitution is favored by 60% of the candidates for the upcoming House of Representatives election, according to a recent Yomiuri Shimbun survey.

By party, 98% of candidates from Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) support revision, followed by 97% from the Liberal Democratic Party, 74% from the Democratic Party for the People and 52% from Komeito. As for candidates from the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, 60% oppose revising the Constitution, while the majority of candidates from Reiwa Shinsengumi and the Social Democratic Party also are against it. No candidates from the Japanese Communist Party support revision.

Asked about what should be amended or added to the Constitution, with multiple answers allowed, the top responses were “possession of a military for self-defense” and “provision of free education” at 48% each. They were followed by “abolition of merged electoral constituencies in the House of Councillors” and “creation of a state-of-emergency clause.”

This quartet is akin to the four key revisions proposed by the LDP in 2018. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has expressed his willingness to realize these revisions during his term as LDP president.

In the survey, the most common answer for the LDP was “creation of a state-of-emergency clause” at 81%. For Ishin, “provision of free education” was at 93% and “issues related to the role of central and local governments” was at 92%. For Komeito, “environmental rights” as well as “citizens’ right to know and privacy rights” were at 60%.

In addition to “citizens’ right to know and privacy rights” and “environmental rights,” many CDPJ candidates thought it was important to “limit the prime minister’s ability to dissolve lower house.” In the past, opposition parties have called for the restriction of this right when then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dissolved the lower house.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
An Illustration : Views on revising Constitution, top issues for revision