a reinterpretation of the Constitution to allow Japan to come to the aid of allies under attack may be deferred until the summer. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration has been trying to revise the interpretation with a Cabinet decision by the end of the Diet’s current session in June 22.
According to some sources close to the matter, the plan was already communicated to a senior official of the New Komeito, the junior coalition partner of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party. The New Komeito has previously expressed reservations on the planned reinterpretation of Article 9 of the Constitution, which would lift Japan’s self-imposed ban on the right to collective self-defense. Aside from their junior coalition partner, other members in the LDP have mixed views on the issue. Secretary-general of the LDP caucus in the Upper House, Masahi Waki, has called for further discussion on the matter within their party.
After a meeting on March 6, Abe and other officials, including LDP secretary-general Shigeru Ishiba, the group has decided to further talk about it and refrain from making a hasty decision. However, it is still imminent that the Abe administration will seek changes in the Self-Defense Forces law, among other legislations issued that would accommodate the revised Japan-U.S. defense cooperation guidelines. With the postponement, attempts to revise legislation by the government and the coalition may only be accommodated in the regular session of the Diet next year.
[via Kyodo News]