TOKYO, June 21. /TASS/. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is intending to hold a referendum to review the country’s constitution while still in office, as his tenure ends in September 2021, HNK TV reported Sunday.
"I have one year and three months left as chair of the [ruling] Liberal Democratic Party, and I would like to hold a [constitutional amendment] during this tenure," the channel quoted him as saying.
Abe believes it is one of his major political goals to overhaul Article 9 of the constitution, which declares that Japan formally renounces its military potential and use of force in international disputes. In fact, the country is still allowed to have air forces and navy, however, the article obstructs more decisive moves to ramp up national military capabilities.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party has been backing a review of the article for many decades as well. Abe has repeatedly said that the constitution written more than 70 years ago does not meet the demands of modern times.
According to the current legislation, constitutional amendments can only be approved on a nationwide referendum.