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Ruling, Opposition Camps Still Apart over Referendum Law Reform

Ruling, Opposition Camps Still Apart over Referendum Law Reform

   Tokyo, Nov. 19 (Jiji Press)--Japan's ruling and opposition camps remained apart over the proposed revision of the national referendum law related to constitutional amendment, in Thursday's free debate at the Commission on the Constitution of the House of Representatives.
   The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito, called for the bill to revise the law to be put to a vote quickly in the Diet, Japan's parliament. But the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan voiced opposition, saying that priority should be given to debates on restrictions on television commercials for national referendums on constitutional amendments.
   The day's session marked the first substantive debate on the matter at the commission since Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga took office in September.
   The reform is designed to make it easier for voters to cast their ballots in constitutional referendums by, among other things, setting up polling stations in commercial facilities. The bill was introduced to the Diet in June 2018 mainly by the ruling bloc and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party), but it has been repeatedly carried over, with no vote taking place.
   In Thursday's meeting, Yoshitaka Shindo of the LDP said that procedures to put the bill to vote should be taken promptly. The TV commercials restrictions and specific constitutional revision items should be discussed after the bill is enacted, Shindo said.

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