Japan Diet Begins Debates on Referendum Law Revision


Tokyo, Nov. 26 (Jiji Press)--A commission under the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, began substantive deliberations Thursday on a bill to amend the law on national referendums on constitutional revisions.

A question-and-answer session was held for the first time on the bill at the Lower House's Commission on the Constitution since it was submitted to the Diet over two years ago. The bill is designed to make it easier for voters to cast ballots in referendums on constitutional amendments.

During the session, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) submitted a motion to take a vote on the bill. But Hiroyuki Hosoda, a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, who chairs the commission, did not accept it, because the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and other opposition forces are against putting the bill to vote.

The ongoing extraordinary Diet session is scheduled to end on Dec. 5. The bill's possible enactment is expected to be carried over to next year's regular Diet session, to be convened in January, at the earliest.

On Thursday, the ruling bloc called for a vote to be taken early on the bill. But Soichiro Okuno of the CDP expressed the party's cautious stance against the move, demanding debates regarding restrictions on television commercials for constitutional revision referendums. Seiken Akamine of the Japanese Communist Party also opposed the ruling bloc's move.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press