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Politics

Abe puts constitution at center of party's leadership race

Japanese leader hopes to unite ruling bloc ahead of proposal to parliament

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to add language on the Self-Defense Forces to the constitution, though hurdles remain.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is framing constitutional change as the defining issue of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's leadership race next month, hoping that his win will silence those questioning his approach to rewriting the pacifist charter.

"We should accelerate our efforts so we can submit a proposal to change the constitution to the next Diet session," Abe said in a speech on Sunday in his home prefecture of Yamaguchi.

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