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LDP, Nippon Ishin Leaders Argue for Article 9 Revision

LDP, Nippon Ishin Leaders Argue for Article 9 Revision

   Tokyo, June 18 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Ichiro Matsui, leader of opposition Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party), in an online debate Saturday called for clarifying the existence of the Self-Defense Forces in Article 9 of the Constitution.
   Meanwhile, Kenta Izumi, head of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, and Kazuo Shii, chief of the Japanese Communist Party, argued against the move.
   The online debate, joined by leaders of nine political parties, took place ahead of Wednesday's start of the official campaign period for the July 10 election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament.
   "It is important to put an end to the debate over whether the SDF is constitutional or unconstitutional," Kishida, also president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said, stressing the need for the Diet to speed up its work for proposing constitutional revisions to provide the public with an opportunity to show their approval or disapproval.
   Matsui, also mayor of the western Japan city of Osaka, said, "The SDF should be stipulated in the Constitution so that it will be recognized by all people in the nation."

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