Japan enacts revised referendum law in constitutional amendment push
By 14 June 2021
Flag of Japan (photo credit: David Peteron/pixabay)
Japan's parliament passed a bill Friday to amend procedures for a national referendum, in a step toward the possibility of a revision to its war-renouncing Constitution and giving the government more emergency powers.
The revision to the national referendum law makes it easier for citizens to vote, allowing them to cast their ballots at places such as train stations and shopping complexes. The bill was passed after around three years of debate between the pro-revision ruling party and the main opposition party.
The postwar Constitution, which took effect in 1947, has never been revised, with calls for both maintaining and amending the charter's pacifist Article 9 remaining a focal point. Any proposed revision needs to be approved by a two-thirds majority in both the upper and lower houses before the proposal can be put to a national referendum.
The revision also coincides with growing calls for the introduction of an emergency clause to give broad authority to the Cabinet and limit citizens' rights under such circumstances as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read the full article here: Kyodo News