Can Abe revise Japan’s peace constitution?

Can Abe revise Japan’s peace constitution?

24 July 2016

Author: Ben Ascione, ANU

Since the 10 July upper house election in Japan there has been widespread speculation that the government will move to formally revise the country’s constitution including the Article 9 ‘peace clause’. This now appears possible since the Abe-led Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), along with its junior coalition partner Komeito and sympathetic micro-sized right-leaning opposition parties, controls the two-thirds majorities in both houses needed to take constitutional amendments to a referendum.

Never in the years since Japan’s postwar constitution was enacted in 1947 has it been formally amended. Even though the government has the requisite number of seats, forging an agreement with Komeito and persuading the broader voting public that constitutional revision is desirable will be no easy task.

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