Let the debate begin?

The Upper House of the Diet passed the national referendum bill this afternoon. In accordance with the bill’s provisions, there will be a three-year moratorium on constitution amendments — meaning Japan has until 2011 to have a thorough debate on whether and how to revise the constitution. With luck Japan will have a new, slightly less obsessive prime minister by then.

As for the prospects of a debate on revision, check out this post at Shisaku, discussing comments by Tokyo Governor Ishihara Shintaro on whether the constitution ought to be revised — you may be surprised to learn where the ever feisty governor stands.

But will Japan actually have the open debate that Ishihara rightly says it ought to have? And now that Abe has his referendum law, will he actually get around to governing, or is he going to sit in the Kantei staring at the clock and twiddling his thumbs for three years, occasionally coming out to talk about the “beautiful country” that Japan will become once it has rid itself of that awful “foreign” constitution that is apparently the source of all Japan’s problems?

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