Abe keen to spur discussions on top law

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks at a press conference in Ise, Mie Prefecture, on Thursday.

Jiji Press ISE, Mie (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed on Thursday his eagerness to further promote discussions among the public on amending the Constitution.

“This year, we [the ruling Liberal Democratic Party] will show the public the shape of our ideal Constitution, in a bid to further deepen national discussions on constitutional amendment,” Abe, also LDP president, said at his New Year’s press conference, held in Ise, Mie Prefecture.

Abe stressed that it is a “matter of course” to discuss how the nation should respond to changes of the times. But he denied an intention to set a deadline on constitutional debate, saying he wants to see a broad, suprapartisan consensus formed on the matter.

Abe met the press after paying a New Year’s visit to Ise Jingu, a Shinto shrine complex in the city earlier in the day, along with nine of his Cabinet members, including Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Seiko Noda and Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko.

The prime minister vowed to put all his administration’s efforts into enacting bills related to so-called work style reform during an ordinary session of the Diet to be convened on Jan. 22.

Underscoring the achievements of his Abenomics reflationary policy mix, Abe said that the Japanese economy is “moving forward surely on a path to pulling out of deflation.”

Abe declined to clarify whether to run in this year’s LDP leadership election. “I’ll focus on producing results in the ordinary Diet session, and I’ll consider the future afterward,” he said.

On how to respond to North Korea’s continued nuclear and missile development, Abe said Japan will continue to help the international community put more pressure on Pyongyang by closely cooperating with not only the United States and South Korea but also China and Russia. He also said he will try to develop “truly necessary” national defense capabilities that are totally different from conventional ones.Speech

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