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Uncertainty Hangs over Kishida's Capability for Constitutional Reform

Uncertainty Hangs over Kishida's Capability for Constitutional Reform

   Tokyo, Jan. 19 (Jiji Press)--Uncertainty is hanging over whether the administration of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will be able to make progress on constitutional reform debates at the ordinary parliamentary session set to start Monday.
   Kishida lacks power to push forward with the very challenging topic, due to dismal public support for his cabinet. Also, some opposition parties, including the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, remain reluctant to promote constitutional amendment.
   The Commission on the Constitution of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, held seven rounds of constitutional reform debate during last year's extraordinary session of the Diet.
   In December, the commission sorted out issues regarding a proposed addition of an emergency situation clause to the Constitution, with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, its coalition partner, Komeito, and two opposition parties--Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) and the Democratic Party for the People--as well as one caucus in the Lower House recognizing the need to extend the terms of office of Diet members in times of emergency such as natural disasters.
   "It's very meaningful as we had a deeper debate," LDP lawmaker Yoshitaka Shindo, secretary-general of the party's task force for realizing constitutional reform and key member of the Lower House commission, said, expressing his hope for progress in discussions on the issue.

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