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Upper house constitutional commission meeting put off until next year

Following in the footsteps of its counterpart in the House of Representatives, the House of Councillors Commission on the Constitution skipped a meeting that had been scheduled for Dec. 7, making its Nov. 16 gathering the only one during the current Diet session. The commission will reconvene during the regular Diet session next year.

A meeting of ruling and opposition party officials that would have discussed the schedule for the commission meeting this Diet session had not been held as of Dec. 6.

On Nov. 16, the upper house constitution commission was convened for the first time in nine months, on the topic of "ways of thinking about the Constitution." This was the only time the commission met during the current Diet session.

For the lower house constitution commission, the ruling and opposition parties did not come to an agreement on holding a meeting on Dec. 8. Instead, officials will gather informally that day to discuss how to proceed with the commission in the future. The upper house counterpart put off its scheduled meeting to keep in step with this.

During the Nov. 16 upper house constitution commission meeting, clear differences in the positions of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the opposition Democratic Party (DP) were displayed. The LDP argued for amendment to the Constitution's Article 9, saying the status of the Self-Defense Forces is not clear. It also brought up the Constitution's preamble, the electoral system, and local governance as possible subjects for constitutional amendment. The DP argued that the role of the Constitution in its current form will "become more important."

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