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Abe's LDP Political Party Releases Manga to Promote Proposed Constitutional Changes

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Diet's majority Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is proposing a series of changes to Japan's Constitution, changes they hope will succeed by 2018. This is considered a major move, as the document has not been altered since it was drafted by the U.S. government at the end of World War II. It saw Japan's military force reduced to primarily self-defense.

LDP leader Hajime Funada told Reuters that Article 9 of the Constitution must be altered to continue Japan's changes to its military. The article is currently interpreted that the country may only maintain a self-defense force. Other changes are also being considered due to the nature of how the Constitution was written, i.e. by the U.S. and not the Japanese.

Many in the country are opposed to altering Article 9, and so the LDP would like to alter other, smaller parts of the Constitution to ease into the change. To succeed, two-thirds of each house in the Diet would need to approve the change followed by a majority public vote. The party plans to first attempt to change the ban on public funding for private schools and giving the government more power during disasters.

In hopes of informing the public, especially homemakers, the LDP is publishing 50,000 copies of Honobono-Ikka no Kenpo-Kaiseitte Nani? (A warm family's "What are the constitutional revisions?") manga. The story stars five family members discussing how the political process works and what changes are being proposed.

"I hope the book spreads understandings on constitutional revisions we are aiming for," Funada said.

Abe recently stretched the interpretation to allow Japanese military to engage in actions abroad. This change was one of the reasons Abe visited the United States this week to discuss new cooperative defense guidelines with President Obama.

The government has previously turned to manga to inform the public, including an anti-drug campaign drawn by Nobuyuki Fukumoto and utilizing moe mascots to promote military enlistment.

Source: Reuters, The Asahi Shimbun

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