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Japan corporate exec group to set up 1st committee on Constitution in 8 years

Yoshimitsu Kobayashi, chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, speaks during an interview in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on April 25, 2017. (Mainichi)

The Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai), which has close ties with the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is moving to support constitutional revision by setting up a panel to discuss the supreme law, it has been learned.

    "There are inconsistencies in the current Constitution. There is a need to deepen discussion on security and the Constitution," Chairman Yoshimitsu Kobayashi said in a recent interview with media organizations including the Mainichi Shimbun.

    Kobayashi disclosed that the association planned to set up a committee to discuss constitutional issues for the first time since fiscal 2009. It will also consider producing suggestions for government policy. Focus is likely to remain on how far the committee can go in influencing debate in the political world.

    "I want to start from zero in the discussions, from the question of whether subsidies for private schools are consistent with the Constitution," he said.

    With tension over the North Korean situation in mind, he added, "Security is closely related to the economy. Japan is in a stupor of peace, and it's about time it thought about the issue seriously."

    In April 2003, the association had called for constitutional revisions, saying that Japan "should cast aside its inactive single-country pacifism and become a proactive participant in international peace-making efforts." It later announced that its committee debating constitutional issues would cease its activities in fiscal 2009.

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