New secretary general of Japan’s ruling LDP shows willingness to revise Constitution

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Toshimitsu Motegi, secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party, speaks during an interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun at party headquarters in Tokyo on Friday.

Toshimitsu Motegi, secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said in an interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun on Friday that the party will accelerate discussions on constitutional revision and prioritize the creation of a clause to strengthen the government’s authority in case of an emergency.

“In light of the crisis with the novel coronavirus pandemic, there is a growing sense of urgency about emergency situations,” he said. “We hope to have discussions with various political parties in the Diet to have specific options and set a time frame.”

Regarding the possible talks with other parties, Motegi said, “Rather than trying to discuss the Constitution in general terms, we should draw a conclusion about the priority of various issues and have the public make a decision.”

In 2018, the LDP drafted amendments to the Constitution, consisting of four pillars: clearly providing legal grounds for the Self-Defense Forces, creating an emergency clause, dissolving mergers of constituencies consisting of multiple prefectures in the House of Councillors, and improving the education system.

On national security issues, Motegi said, “As the threat becomes more serious due to the improvement of missile capabilities, it is necessary to consider various options, including, strictly speaking, ‘the ability to counterattack enemy bases.’”

The LDP’s junior coalition partner Komeito is considered to be taking a cautious stance on possessing the capability to attack enemy bases for self-defense purposes.

“Komeito has shown an understanding for having standoff missile capability,” Motegi said. “Maybe we can share common views.”