The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) decided on Oct. 13 that the controversial draft revision to the Constitution that the party created in 2012 will be referred to as "a historic official document" to suggest that there is room for shelving parts of deeply conservative articles included in the draft.
The LDP's 2012 draft stipulates that Japan establishes the "national defense military" under Article 9 and declares the emperor as the head of the state. The party's junior coalition partner Komeito and opposition parties have voiced opposition to the LDP draft.
By labeling the draft Constitution an "official document" and not scrapping it, the LDP aims to show consideration to the conservative wing within the party. At the same time, the party is trying to mitigate opposition against the draft to move forward with debate on constitutional revisions by calling it "historic" and not holding it as something absolute.
Senior members of the LDP's Constitutional Reform Promotion Headquarters discussed how to handle the 2012 draft at the Oct. 13 meeting, and panel chairman Okiharu Yasuoka is expected to announce the decision on Oct. 18 at a general meeting.
The LDP also plans to use its 2005 draft Constitution in constitutional reform discussions. A senior official of the promotion headquarters said the 2005 draft is also likely to be declared as "a historic official document." The largest opposition Democratic Party, however, is demanding the LDP scrap its drafts before proceeding to debate on constitutional revisions.