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Friday, Oct. 12, 2012

Hashimoto retreats amid constitutional backlash

Staff writer

OSAKA — Facing a public outcry and anger from within his own party, Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto now says that a possible tieup with a group of Tokyo politicians denying the validity of the Constitution is on hold.

Tokyo Ishin no Kai, a group of three members of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly, had submitted a petition that was subsequently voted down seeking to declare the 1947 Constitution illegal because it was passed while Japan was under the Allied Occupation. Instead, the group wants the prewar 1890 Meiji Constitution, which granted emperors political powers, recognized.

On Tuesday, Hashimoto, while disagreeing with Tokyo Ishin no Kai's stance, said it didn't matter what they said about the Constitution as long as they agreed with the platform of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), which in terms of the Constitution only calls for revision of Article 96, which currently requires that constitutional amendments be approved by two-thirds of the Diet.

Following a public outcry and criticism from within his own party, Nippon Ishin no Kai, Hashimoto changed his mind Wednesday.

"It's impossible to return to the Meiji Constitution. We'll judge whether to support a tieup or not with Tokyo Ishin no Kai after looking carefully at what their leaders are doing," he said.

Media polls show that Nippon Ishin no Kai is relatively unpopular in Tokyo, eastern and northeastern Japan.

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The Japan Times

Article 7 of 14 in National news

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