Japan passes law on referendum to revise constitution

Tokyo, Jun 11 (Bureau) Japan’s upper house of parliament has passed a bill on a nationwide referendum to amend the constitution, the Kyodo news agency reported on Friday. The law was submitted to the parliament in 2018, but was met with backlash from the opposition. The vote went through after restrictions on advertising were introduced. The lower chamber has already greenlighted the bill. The only opposition party whose members voted against the proposed law in both houses of parliament was the Japanese Communist Party.

Under the existing law, amendments to the constitution are subject to a popular vote after being approved by two-thirds of lawmakers of each house of parliament, However, there are no clear regulations for holding the referendum, which makes the revision of the constitution virtually impossible. Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party is an active proponent of constitutional amendments. In particular, it proposes amending the main law’s pacifist Article 9 preventing Japan from having a standing army and to extend the cabinet’s power in crises.