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LDP aims to speed up Constitution panel

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Senior Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers agreed Thursday to strengthen the Japanese ruling party’s existing panel to accelerate work to draw up its proposal for constitutional revision.

The party will beef up its Headquarters for the Promotion of Revision to the Constitution to promote discussions on the issue at first, according to the agreement between Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai and constitution headquarters chair Okiharu Yasuoka.

No new consultative body, such as a subgroup of the headquarters or a drafting committee, will be established, at least for now.

The party will speed up discussions on the constitution in response to the instruction of LDP President Shinzo Abe, the country’s prime minister, who has proposed putting a revised constitution into force in 2020.

As Abe’s proposal, made early this month, was abrupt, some party members have shown their dissatisfaction at his instruction, sources familiar with the situation said.

A new consultative body was thought to add fuel to the negative mood, the sources added, explaining why such an organization will not be established soon.

Abe calls for revising the constitution to authorize the existence of the Self-Defense Forces in the war-renouncing Article 9, guarantee higher education free of tuition and enable the terms of lawmakers to be extended in the event of an emergency.Speech

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