Foundation Office Japan / Regional Economic Programme Asia (SOPAS)
Discussions on Constitutional Amendments - Foundation Office Japan / Regional Economic Programme Asia (SOPAS)
Discussions on Constitutional Amendments
Momentum and Issues
This year’s ordinary Diet session has been convened here in Japan. The COVID-19 response unsurprisingly remains the core topic of discussion, while the Economic Security Promotion Bill will also be another focal point. However, the writer attaches particular significance to the discussions on constitutional amendments. The main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party (CDP), which takes a cautious stance on constitutional revision, had initially been reluctant to hold the Diet committee responsible for such discussions (the Commission on the Constitution) until after the recent general election had been held. Nonetheless, the CDP changed its stance, agreeing to hold the Commission "on its scheduled days insofar as is possible". Meanwhile, other opposition parties, the Japan Innovation Party (JIP), as well as the Democratic Party For the People (DPFP) and the Yushi no Kai, which had just formed a new In-House Group (caucus) after the general election, took the position of the ruling side (Ruling Parties and Cooperative In-House Group Consultation Body:与党及び協力会派懇談会) in the House of Representatives' Commission on the Constitution.
These moves were brought about by the new political situation that emerged after last year's general election. This paper summarises the positions of each party and discusses future prospects and issues surrounding the discussions on constitutional amendments. The writer would like to emphasise that constitutional reform will continue to require time, great effort, and great patience from each party and In-House group, as well as public understanding.