03:29 GMT +323 September 2017
    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a speech during a new year's press conference at his official residence in Tokyo, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016

    Japanese PM Seeks Parliament Support for Constitutional Change

    © AP Photo/ Shizuo Kambayashi
    Asia & Pacific
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    Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe aspires to amend Japan's constitution, chiefly the ninth article prohibiting the Japanese military from operating abroad.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed Sunday his willingness to cooperate with supporters of reviewing the country's post-war constitution in parliament in order to secure sufficient support for the initiative.

    "I wish to form two thirds together with strong individuals who understand responsibility and strive towards the future," Abe said live on Japan's NHK television channel.

    Abe also mentioned the Initiatives from the Osaka party, founded in October 2015 by Osaka's then-mayor Toru Hashimoto on the basis of the Osaka Restoration Association. The party, which had split off from the association's Tokyo faction, is expected to be the prime minister's close ally and a staunch supporter of the constitutional revision.

    "There are parties aiming to review the constitution, including the Osaka Restoration Association," Abe said.

    Abe's government aspires to amend Japan's constitution, chiefly the ninth article prohibiting the Japanese military from operating abroad. Constitutional changes require support of a two-thirds majority in the lower and upper houses of Japan's parliament.

    Article nine of the Japanese Constitution, which came into effect in 1947, renounces Japan's sovereign right of belligerency. Japan's Self-Defense Forces' powers were expanded in 2014, when a constitutional reinterpretation allowed Japan to defend its allies.


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