Photo/IllutrationPrime Minister Shinzo Abe addresses a rally held by a supra-party lawmakers' group in favor of constitutional reform at the Parliamentary Museum in Tokyo’s Nagatacho district on May 1. At left is former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone. (Eiji Hori)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said May 1 that this milestone year marking the 70th anniversary of the Constitution is the right time to "take a historical step" by amending the document.

Abe spoke ahead of Constitution Day on May 3, a public holiday to mark when the war-renouncing Constitution took effect in 1947.

“A small number of people nowadays think the Constitution is a code of laws that will remain unchanged forever,” Abe told a rally held by a supra-party lawmakers' group seeking constitutional reform at the Parliamentary Museum in Tokyo’s Nagatacho district.

“The time is ripe. We will definitely take a historical step forward for constitutional reform in this milestone year," he said. "We have to outgrow from abstract and barren discussions on the issue of amending the Constitution or protecting the Constitution.”

Abe said he has no intention to submit the draft for constitutional amendments compiled by the Liberal Democratic Party in 2012 as it is to the Diet's Commission on the Constitution.

However, Abe said he is committed to taking the initiative to lead realistic and tangible discussions on the issue.