Abe vows to revise pacifist Constitution
Updated: 2014-12-25 11:02
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (front L) and his cabinet ministers pose for a photo at Abe's official residence in Tokyo December 24, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]
TOKYO - Shinzo Abe, who was re-elected as Japan's prime minister with a new mandate for another four years, vowed on Wednesday to push forward a controversial constitutional revision.
As president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Abe gained 328 of 470 votes during a prime minister election in the 475-seat lower house and also secured 135 votes in another post- election session in the 240-seat upper house.
Abe's LDP won a landslide victory in the general election on Dec 14 after he called the snap vote last month due to sluggish economy growth data. Along with its junior partner the Komeito, the LDP-Komeito ruling coalition together garnered 326 seats in the powerful lower house and the bloc also maintains a majority in the upper house.
Abe told a press conference late Wednesday that bringing economic recovery to Japan was one of his priorities, while emphasizing constitutional revision a major goal for his LDP.
Abe said that he and the LDP "are determined to establish a firm economic foundation for the lives of people and at the same time we want to revise the Constitution."
However, the prime minister admitted the constitutional amendment, which he called a "historical challenge," was not an easy work, saying he would try to build a consensus on the issue in the Diet so as to gain support from the two-third majority in both parliament chambers.
The LDP and the Komeito now hold a two-third majority in the lower house, but the ruling coalition maintains less than two-third majority in the upper house.
"After achieving consensus in the parliament, we need to hold a national referendum and it needs support of the majority of the public. This is the crucial and most important part of Constitution amendment," he said.