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Abe aiming to unveil top law amendment proposal in autumn

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday that as head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party he will aim to submit the party’s constitutional amendment proposal to an extraordinary parliamentary session likely to be held in autumn.

Abe, 63, unveiled the plan in a joint press conference with his sole opponent in the Sept. 20 LDP presidential election, Shigeru Ishiba, 61, former secretary general of the party.

The election’s official campaign period started on Friday but the two candidates waited until Monday to deliver policy speeches and meet the press, in the wake of a powerful earthquake that hit Hokkaido, northern Japan, on Thursday.

The LDP president is effectively assured of the prime ministership because of the party’s comfortable majority in the House of Representatives.

Abe, who is aiming to win a third consecutive three-year term as LDP chief, reiterated his determination to clarify the rationale for the existence of the Self-Defense Forces in the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution.

“I believe creating an environment where SDF troops can fulfill their duties with pride is a mission of politicians,” Abe said. “Let’s achieve this mission by having the constitution mention the SDF.”

The prime minister also said he plans to raise the consumption tax rate from 8 percent to 10 percent in October next year as scheduled.

Related to the tax hike plan, Abe said he will carry out social security system reforms over a three-year period with the aim of allowing people of all generations to live their lives with a sense of security.Speech

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