Gov't urged to protect constitution for future generations
Tuesday 04th May, 06:07 AM JST
Supporters of Japan’s postwar constitution urged the government on Monday to leave the war-renouncing constitution in its present form for future generations, while those advocating revisions called for amendments to revitalize the nation. Defenders of the constitution and those seeking revisions held rallies across Japan on Monday, a national holiday commemorating the 63rd anniversary of the constitution coming into force.
About 450 people gathered in Tokyo’s Hibiya Park to show their support for preserving the pacifist constitution, with Mizuho Fukushima, leader of the Social Democratic Party, in attendance. Fukushima, speaking at the forum for the first time as a member of Japan’s tripartite coalition government, said, ‘‘The current cabinet is not trying to change Article 9 but rather is one that is drawing on the ideals of the constitution.’‘
Article 9 has long been a bone of contention. The article states that Japan will never maintain ‘‘land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential,’’ but many conservatives want the article changed to allow Japan to officially possess military forces for self-defense.
Meanwhile, Diet members and others advocating revisions to the constitution held a forum in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward, attracting around 400 people.
Jumpei Kiyohara, acting chief of the organization that hosted the rally, told the audience there is a need for a ‘‘drastic review to amend the constitution’’ at a time Japan is facing economic and fiscal crises.