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LDP to resume talks on top law revision next week

Jiji PressTOKYO (Jiji Press) — A task force of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on constitutional amendment decided Wednesday to resume talks next week after a suspension due to the Oct. 22 House of Representatives election.

The LDP panel aims to draft revisions to the Constitution by the end of this year in order to submit the draft during an ordinary Diet session starting in January.

But the work may be delayed, as some party members remain opposed to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s proposal to add a provision to Article 9 to recognize the Self-Defense Forces.

Komeito, the LDP’s junior coalition partner, is also cautious about the proposal. “We’re watching the talks in the LDP,” Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi said Tuesday.

The LDP is poised to accelerate internal talks after the ruling coalition maintained its two-thirds majority in the lower house in the poll.

Support from such a majority in both Diet chambers is needed to put any proposals to revise the constitution to a national referendum.

Hiroyuki Hosoda, close to Abe, was appointed chairman of the LDP panel after the lower house election, apparently reflecting the prime minister’s eagerness to take the initiative in the party talks.

At next week’s meeting, the ruling party panel will cover the issue of revoking recent mergers of sparsely populated electoral districts for the House of Councillors through a constitutional revision.

Some in the LDP are eyeing a national referendum on constitutional amendment on the same day as the next upper house election, scheduled for summer 2019.Speech

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