Constitution reform likely in sight after upper house race: Kyodo poll


Amending Japan’s Constitution is within reach, as many lawmakers in favor of such reform are likely to win in the July 10 House of Councillors election that would pave the way to secure the required two-thirds majority in the upper house, a Kyodo News survey indicated Tuesday.

Based on the nationwide, three-day telephone survey conducted from Sunday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and coalition partner Komeito are likely to win at least 74 of the 121 seats up for grabs in the election, surpassing Abe’s stated target of 61, a majority of the contested seats.

With the addition of Initiatives of Osaka and independents thought likely to support constitutional revision, being pushed by Abe, chances are strong that the combined number of contested and noncontested seats of the pro-constitutional amendment camp in the upper house would now account for at least two-thirds after the election.

On its own, the LDP could win at least 60 seats. By combining at least 57 of the contested seats with the noncontested seats it already holds, the LDP is gearing up to achieve a simple majority in the upper house for the first time in 27 years, according to the survey.

But the election outcome is far from certain as more than 40 percent of respondents said they are undecided on either their constituency or proportional representation votes.

To begin the process of constitutional revision, at least 162 of the upper house’s 242 lawmakers must approve before putting the issue to a national referendum.

The survey said Komeito is likely to gain ground by securing 14 seats, while the Initiatives from Osaka is likely to win six seats.

The four pro-constitutional change parties — LDP, Komeito, Initiatives from Osaka, and the Party for the Japanese Kokoro — together hold 84 noncontested seats. If the four parties win 78 of the contested seats, they will reach the two-thirds majority.

About 43,000 eligible voters responded to the poll. Two ballots will be cast each for constituencies that will account for 73 of the 121 contested seats, and for 48 seats through the proportional representation system.

As for those against amending the Constitution, the main opposition Democratic Party appears weak and is likely to win between 25 and 30 seats, below its 43 contested seats. The Social Democratic Party is likely to win just one of the contested seats, down from the two it currently has.

The People’s Life Party and Party for the Japanese Kokoro continue to face an uphill battle.

The Japanese Communist Party, meanwhile, is likely to gain ground by securing 9 seats, up from three of the contested seats it already holds.

The opposition camp is not faring well in the 32 single-seat constituencies, pitting an LDP candidate with a rival backed by four opposition parties, namely the Democratic Party, JCP, SDP and People’s Life Party.

The LDP has the lead in around 20 of the constituencies as well as in constituencies where three to six seats are up for grabs.

In the proportional representation system, the LDP could secure at least 20 seats and the Democratic Party at least 10 seats.

For the constitutional amendment, a two-thirds majority is also needed for the 475-seat House of Representatives, and the LDP and Komeito already hold such a majority there.


Toronto Islamic rally: Allah promised us that Israel will be destroyed by Muslims

The annual pro Iranian Islamic Al-Quds Day Rally in Toronto was held on Saturday, June 2, 2016 in solidarity with the Palestinian people and with messages opposing Zionism and Israel’s right to exist.

The rally started with a recitation of the first 8 verses of Surah Al-Isra (The Night Journey) in Arabic and English, which deal with the severe punishment Allah will inflict upon the Jews:

In the name of God, in the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the merciful, Glory be to Him, whomade His servant to go on at night from the sacred mosque to the remote mosque, of which We have blessed its precincts. We have showed him some of Our signs. Surely, He had the Hearing, the Seeing.

And We gave Musa the Book and made it a guidance for the Children of Israel saying not take other protector besides Me.

The offspring of those whom We bore with Noah. Surely, he was a grateful servant.

And We have made known to the Children of Israel in the Book. Most certainly you will makemischief in the land twice, and most certainly you will behave insolently with great insolence.

So when the promise for the two came, We sent over you our servants of mighty powers. So they went to and from among the houses, and it was a promise to be accomplished.

Then We gave you back the turn to prevail against them and aided you with wealth andchildren and made you a numerous in band.

If you do good, you do good for your own soul; and if you do evil, it shall be for them. Sowhen the second promise came, We raised another people that they may bring you to grief and they may enter the mosque as they entered it the first time, and they might destroy what everthey gained ascendancy over with utter destruction.

It may be that your Lord will have mercy on you. And if you again return to disobedience, Wetoo will return to punishment, and We have made Hell, a prison for the unbelievers.”

An article on a website Crescent International, “a publication of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT)” headed by Imam Zafar Bangash, one of the organizers of Al-Quds Day rally in Toronto, provides an interpretation of these verses. According to the article, Allah promised His believers that the rule of Jews in Palestine will eventually come to its end by the Muslims. The following are excerpts from thearticle:

Shaykh As’ad al-Tamimi concludes that no effort to make peace with Israel will ever succeed… Basing his arguments on Qur’anic verses, he asserts that Palestine will be liberated by Muslims under the banner of Islam alone… This only is the time in their history that the Jews enjoy ‘increased resources’ and fighting man-power. As the Jews will not ‘do well,’ their state will be eliminated by the Muslims once again…

The author strengthens his argument by quoting a Hadith [Saying of the Prophet] from the authoritative collections of Bukhari and Muslim, that the Prophet Muhammad said:

‘The Day of Resurrection will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews. The Muslims will kill the Jews to the extent that stones and trees will call out, “Muslim, O servant of God, there is a Jew behind me come and kill him,” All (trees) will say this except the tree of al-Gharqad [a species of thorny tree still preferred by the Jews in Palestine] because it is one of the Jews’ trees!’…

The author covers many other smaller subjects of interest and controversy in the world of Islam as he moves to argue his central point that the state of Israel is not permanent and that Muslims alone will demolish this aberration in history.”