Abe Seeks Diet Debate on Proposed Emergency Clause
Tokyo, May 3 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for holding discussions in the Diet, the country's parliament, on the proposed addition of a state of emergency clause to the country's Constitution, in a video message on this year's Constitution Day on Sunday.
Amid the relentless spread of the new coronavirus, "We're facing extremely critical challenges of deciding what roles the state and citizens should fulfill in the event of an emergency, how we should overcome national crises and how we should position these matters in the Constitution," the prime minister said.
Abe sent the video message in his capacity as president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to a meeting of people supporting constitutional amendments that was held in Tokyo Sunday by a private-sector organization and was broadcast live online. The annual gathering was held at a substantially reduced scale due to the virus crisis.
The proposed state of emergency clause would allow the government to limit citizens' rights temporarily to deal with emergencies such as war and large-scale disasters.
Abe stressed that his determination to revise the Constitution remains unwavering. "It's not an easy road but we'll certainly accomplish" the constitutional reform, he said.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]