Japan

LDP not to present Constitution revision plan to Diet this year

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party has given up its plan to present draft amendments to the pacifist Constitution to the ongoing extraordinary Diet session through December, sources close to the matter said Thursday.

In a policy speech in the Diet last month, Abe expressed his strong desire to present his party's constitutional revision plan during the current session through Dec 10.

The LDP aims to promote a Diet debate on the constitutional revision, the prime minister's long-cherished political goal, by presenting its draft to parliamentary commissions.

The party is now expected to present its reform proposal in the ordinary Diet session from January.

Abe's administration is prioritizing a bill to accept foreign blue-collar workers in Japan. The LDP-led coalition bulldozed the controversial bill through the House of Representatives on Tuesday. With the House of Councillors' deliberation on it having started Wednesday, the ruling coalition hopes to get the bill passed by Dec 10.

Abe seeks to realize the first-ever revisions to Japan's supreme law by changing its war-renouncing Article 9, which bans the maintenance of war potential, to end academic debate over the constitutionality of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces.

The Constitution took effect in 1947 during the U.S.-led postwar occupation and has never been changed.

The lower house Commission on the Constitution will be held Thursday for the first time in the current session.

© KYODO

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