Thirty-eight percent of House of Councillors members who are in favor of revising the Constitution prefer starting amendment with the addition of a clause on responses to "emergency situations," surpassing the 31 percent who are opposed to such a move, a Mainichi Shimbun survey has shown.
The survey recounted a questionnaire the Mainichi had conducted on all candidates prior to the July 10 upper house election, singling out those newly elected and re-elected to the upper chamber, and combined the results with another query on upper house members whose seats were not up for grabs in the election.
As a result, 39 upper house members in the pro-constitutional amendment camp -- including the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), its junior coalition partner Komeito, the opposition Initiatives from Osaka (IFO) and other lawmakers -- were found to prefer initiating constitutional revision with the creation of an emergency clause, while 32 didn't.
After making a strong showing in the July 10 race, the pro-amendment camp secured 165 seats in the upper chamber, forming a two-thirds majority and meeting a prerequisite to initiate constitutional amendment in the chamber.
Among the 165 upper house members in the constitutional reform camp, 103 responded to the Mainichi surveys. Of the 39 upper house lawmakers who favor starting constitutional amendment with the addition of an emergency clause, 32 belong to the LDP, three to IFO, two to the Party for Japanese Kokoro (PJK), one to Komeito and one independent.
Of the 32 pro-amendment upper house members who opposed such a move, eight are from the LDP, 16 from Komeito, seven from IFO and one from PJK. As Komeito is wary of the move to establish an emergency clause, more party legislators were opposed to the move than those who supported it.
Meanwhile, 51 percent of those newly elected and re-elected to the upper chamber in the July 10 election, including both pro-amendment and anti-amendment lawmakers, were found to disapprove of the move to revise the supreme law by first introducing an emergency clause, as opposed to 24 percent in favor.
Among LDP upper house members who secured their seats in the July 10 poll, 48 percent favored launching constitutional revision with adding an emergency clause, while 88 percent of opposition Democratic Party lawmakers, 71 percent of Komeito members, and 57 percent of IFO members were opposed to such a move.
With regard to revising the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution, 43 percent of those who secured their upper house seats in the July 10 poll were against amending the clause, while 22 percent said Article 9 should be amended to clearly stipulate the roles and limits of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF). Another 10 percent said Article 9 should be altered to transform the SDF into a "national defense military" as in other countries.