Japan ruling party renews charter change drive amid pandemic

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TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s governing party is renewing its push to revise Japan’s pacifist constitution, saying effective anti-coronavirus measures such as lockdowns aren’t possible without an emergency clause in the charter providing enforcement and the limiting of private rights. The lower house of parliament on Tuesday approved a a revised national referendum law that would lay the groundwork for a possible future vote on a charter revision, though hurdles remain high. The bill is expected to be enacted next month, in what Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga calls a first step toward constitutional amendment.

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