Abe asks opposition to help amend constitution

Monday, 22. July 2019 10:30

The ruling coalition won 71 seats out of 124 in the elections for more than half of the seats in Japan's upper chamber of parliament, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday in his victory speech. The voters' verdict was very clear," he stressed and called on the opposition "to accept the people's will" and continue to "bravely discuss amendments" for four areas in the constitution including putting in a reference to the Japan Self-Defense Forces. The change would mark the end of the pacifist doctrine introduced after World War Two amid the occupation by the United States.

Citizens sent the government "a strong message to build the nation... on the solid political base," Abe stated. He added he would tackle the disputes with South Korea emanating from the imperial era. "This is about trust, whether you can keep promises between nations. South Korea is violating the 1965 agreement or international conventions. It's violating the agreement on those referred to as comfort women. We would like them to keep promises first," the prime minister asserted.

Turning to the crisis in the Middle East, he said he wants to use Japan's close ties with Iran to intermediate and help reduce tension with the United States. The administration in Washington has asked the island country to send forces to the Persian Gulf to oversee oil shipping lanes.

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