Komeito cautious about revisions to Article 9

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — In its campaign pledges released Thursday for the upcoming House of Representatives election, Komeito, the junior coalition partner of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, showed a cautious attitude toward the LDP-proposed revision to Article 9 of the Constitution.

Regarding the LDP’s proposal to add to Article 9 a sentence to stipulate the rationale for the existence of the Self-Defense Forces, Komeito said it is not that the party cannot understand the idea.

At the same time, Komeito noted in the pledges that a lot of Japanese people do not think the SDF’s existence goes against the Constitution.

The party said it will seek to firmly maintain the first and second paragraphs of Article 9, which respectively stipulate the renunciation of war and military forces.

At the time of the previous lower house election, held in December 2014, Komeito, as part of its campaign pledges, sought to start discussing the clarification of the SDF’s existence in the Constitution. The party did not mention such a proposal this time.

The highlight of Komeito’s new pledges is its call for reducing the household burden of educational costs.

The party pledged to make education for preschool children under 6 free of charge by 2019.

In addition, Komeito said it will aim to start by 2019 a tuition waiver for students of private high schools from households with annual income of less than ¥5.9 million.

Komeito also promised to ensure the introduction of a reduced tax rate aimed at cushioning the impact of a planned consumption tax increase to 10 percent from 8 percent in October 2019.Speech

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