Victory improves Abe's hand
Updated: 2013-07-22 02:40
By PU ZHENDONG and CAI HONG (China Daily)
The Liberal Democratic Party has called for changing Article 96 of Japan's constitution to lower the threshold for amendment to a simple majority of all members of each chamber of the Diet, instead of the two-thirds required at present.
Huo Jiangang, an expert on Japanese studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said it remains difficult for the party to make the move, although the Abe administration's control over Japanese society has now reached a new height, as seen from the election result.
Abe speaks in front of red rosettes on the names of the Liberal Democratic Party's winning candidates at the party's headquarters in Tokyo. Shizuo Kambayashi / Associated Press
"Its coalition partner New Komeito openly objects to revising the constitution, and it takes a two-third majority from both houses as well as a national referendum to push through this clause," Huo said. "Also, the public is not very interested in such matters."
Abe found popularity in Japan amid a stagnant economy by practicing "Abenomics", which has lifted the stock market, boosted business confidence and helped exporters by weakening the yen since he took office after the Liberal Democrats won a lower house election in December.
"We are at the threshold of economic recovery. There is no mistake about the policies that we are carrying out," Abe was quoted by AFP as saying.
Wu Huaizhong, a researcher of Japanese Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Abe needs to realign the nation's economic and political relationship with China.
"Abe will have to pull close to China on economic cooperation, but on territorial issues, he will probably not concede," Wu said.