Over half say Japan needs to amend Constitution for virus response

Kyodo -- May 01
More than half the respondents in a Kyodo News survey released Saturday believe Japan needs to amend its Constitution to introduce an emergency clause so that it can better respond to the coronavirus pandemic and other disasters.

The survey showed 57 percent of people polled see the need to add a clause that would give more power to the Cabinet and limit private rights, eclipsing the 42 percent who said such a stipulation is not necessary.

The survey was conducted by mail in March and April ahead of Constitution Memorial Day on Monday, targeting 3,000 people aged 18 or over, of whom 61.3 percent gave valid answers.

It also showed people were divided over whether eateries complying with authorities' requests to cut their operating hours should be compensated based on the Constitution that guarantees property right.

At present, the government provides money for restaurants and bars that comply with the authorities' requests, but does not cover their losses based on the supreme law.

A total of 50 percent said they should be compensated based on the Constitution, while 47 percent said such a measure is not necessary.

- Kyodo