Constitution of Japan

Last updated

Constitution of Japan
Nihon Kenpo01.jpg
Preamble of the Constitution
Original title日本国憲法
Jurisdiction Japan
Date effective 3 May 1947
System Unitary parliamentary
de facto [1] constitutional monarchy
Branches Three
Head of state Not defined in constitution. [2] The Emperor is "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people", but can carry out many functions of a head of state. [1]
Chambers Bicameral (National Diet: House of Representatives, House of Councillors)
Executive Cabinet, headed by the Prime Minister
Judiciary Supreme Court
Federalism Unitary
Electoral college No
First legislature 20 April 1947 (HC)
25 April 1947 (HR)
First executive 24 May 1947
First court 4 August 1947
Amendments 0 [3]
Location National Archives of Japan
Author(s) Allied GHQ and members of the Imperial Diet
Signatories Emperor Shōwa
Supersedes Meiji Constitution
Wikisource-logo.svg Constitution of Japan at Wikisource

The Constitution of Japan (Shinjitai: 日本国憲法, Kyūjitai: 日本國憲󠄁法, Hepburn: Nihon-koku kenpō) is the constitution of Japan and the supreme law in the state. Written primarily by American civilian officials working under the Allied Occupation of Japan, the constitution replaced the Meiji Constitution of 1890 when it came into effect on 3 May 1947.

Contents

The constitution provides for a parliamentary system of government and guarantees certain fundamental rights. In contrast to the Meiji Consitution, which invested the Emperor of Japan with supreme political power, under the new charter the Emperor was reduced to "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people" and exercises only a ceremonial role acting under the sovereignty of the people. [4]

The constitution, also known as the "Post-war Constitution" (戦後憲法, Sengo-Kenpō) or the "Peace Constitution" (平和憲法, Heiwa-Kenpō), [5] was drafted under the supervision of Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, during the Allied occupation of Japan after World War II. [6] Japanese scholars reviewed and modified it before adoption. [7] It changed Japan's previous totalitarian system of quasi-absolute monarchy and stratocracy with a form of constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy. The Constitution is best known for Article 9, by which Japan renounces its right to wage war and maintain military forces. [8]

The Japanese constitution is the oldest unamended constitution in the world. It has not had any amendments to its text in more than 70 years. It is a short constitution with only 5,000 words, compared to the average constitution with 21,000 words. [3] [9]

Historical origins

Meiji Constitution

The Meiji Constitution was the fundamental law of the Empire of Japan, propagated during the reign of Emperor Meiji (r. 1867–1912). It provided for a form of mixed constitutional and absolute monarchy, based on the Prussian and British models. In theory, the Emperor of Japan was the supreme leader, and the cabinet, whose prime minister was elected by a privy council, were his followers; in practice, the Emperor was head of state but the Prime Minister was the actual head of government. Under the Meiji Constitution, the prime minister and his cabinet were not necessarily chosen from the elected members of the Diet. Pursuing the regular amending procedure of the "Meiji Constitution", it was entirely revised to become the "Post-war Constitution" on 3 November 1946. The Post-war Constitution has been in force since 3 May 1947.

The Potsdam Declaration

On 26 July 1945, shortly before the end of the Second World War, Allied leaders of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of China issued the Potsdam Declaration. The Declaration demanded Japan's unconditional surrender, demilitarisation and democratisation. [10]

The declaration defined the major goals of the post-surrender Allied occupation: "The Japanese government shall remove all obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies among the Japanese people. Freedom of speech, of religion, and of thought, as well as respect for the fundamental human rights shall be established" (Section 10). In addition, "The occupying forces of the Allies shall be withdrawn from Japan as soon as these objectives have been accomplished and there has been established in accordance with the freely expressed will of the Japanese people a peacefully inclined and responsible government" (Section 12). The Allies sought not merely punishment or reparations from a militaristic foe, but fundamental changes in the nature of its political system. In the words of political scientist Robert E. Ward: "The occupation was perhaps the single most exhaustively planned operation of massive and externally directed political change in world history."

The Japanese government accepted the conditions of the Potsdam Declaration, which necessitates amendments to its Constitution after the surrender. [10]

Drafting process

The constitution of Japan was largely drafted by US lawyers in the occupation authority. This image is of a secret memo written by members of the authority on the subject of the new constitution. Rowell memo 1946.jpg
The constitution of Japan was largely drafted by US lawyers in the occupation authority. This image is of a secret memo written by members of the authority on the subject of the new constitution.

The wording of the Potsdam Declaration—"The Japanese Government shall remove all obstacles ..."—and the initial post-surrender measures taken by MacArthur, suggest that neither he nor his superiors in Washington intended to impose a new political system on Japan unilaterally. Instead, they wished to encourage Japan's new leaders to initiate democratic reforms on their own. But by early 1946, MacArthur's staff and Japanese officials were at odds over the most fundamental issue, the writing of a new Constitution. Emperor Hirohito, Prime Minister Kijūrō Shidehara and most of the cabinet members were extremely reluctant to take the drastic step of replacing the 1889 Meiji Constitution with a more liberal document. [11]

In late 1945, Shidehara appointed Jōji Matsumoto, state minister without portfolio, head of a blue-ribbon committee of Constitutional scholars to suggest revisions. The Matsumoto Commission's recommendations (ja:松本試案), made public in February 1946, were quite conservative as "no more than a touching-up of the Meiji Constitution".[ citation needed ] MacArthur rejected them outright and ordered his staff to draft a completely new document. An additional reason for this was that on 24 January 1946, Prime Minister Shidehara had suggested to MacArthur that the new Constitution should contain an article renouncing war.

The Constitution was mostly drafted by American authors. [6] A few Japanese scholars reviewed and modified it. [7] Much of the drafting was done by two senior army officers with law degrees: Milo Rowell and Courtney Whitney, although others chosen by MacArthur had a large say in the document. The articles about equality between men and women were written by Beate Sirota. [12] [13]

Although the document's authors were American, they took into account the Meiji Constitution, the demands of Japanese lawyers, the opinions of pacifist political leaders such as Shidehara and Shigeru Yoshida, and especially the draft Kenpō Sōan Yōkō ( 憲法草案要綱 ), which guaranteed fundamental rights based on popular sovereignty. [14] It was presented by the Constitution Research Association ( 憲法研究会 , Kenpō Kenkyū-kai) under the chairmanship of Suzuki Yasuzō ( 鈴木安蔵 ) (1904–1983), which had been translated into English in its entirety already by the end of December 1945. MacArthur gave the authors less than a week to complete the draft, which was presented to surprised Japanese officials on 13 February 1946. On 6 March 1946, the government publicly disclosed an outline of the pending Constitution. On 10 April, elections were held for the House of Representatives of the Ninetieth Imperial Diet, which would consider the proposed Constitution. The election law having been changed, this was the first general election in Japan in which women were permitted to vote.

Unlike previous most Japanese legal documents, the constitution is written in modern colloquial Japanese instead of Classical Japanese. [15] The Japanese version includes some awkward phrasing and scholars sometimes consult the English drafts to resolve ambiguities. [16] [17]

The MacArthur draft, which proposed a unicameral legislature, was changed at the insistence of the Japanese to allow a bicameral one, with both houses being elected. In most other important respects, the government adopted the ideas embodied in the 13 February document in its own draft proposal of 6 March. These included the constitution's most distinctive features: the symbolic role of the Emperor, the prominence of guarantees of civil and human rights, and the renunciation of war. The constitution followed closely a 'model copy' prepared by MacArthur's command. [18]

In 1946, criticism of or reference to MacArthur's role in drafting the constitution could be made subject to Civil Censorship Detachment (CCD) censorship (as was any reference to censorship itself). [19] Until late 1947, CCD exerted pre-publication censorship over about 70 daily newspapers, all books and magazines and many other publications. [20]

Adoption

The Preamble to the Constitution Nihon Kenpo03.jpg
The Preamble to the Constitution
The Imperial Signature (upper right) and Seal Nihon Kenpo02.jpg
The Imperial Signature (upper right) and Seal

It was decided that in adopting the new document the Meiji Constitution would not be violated, but rather legal continuity would be maintained. Thus the 1946 Constitution was adopted as an amendment to the Meiji Constitution in accordance with the provisions of Article 73 of that document. Under Article 73 the new constitution was formally submitted to the Imperial Diet, which was elected by universal suffrage, which was granted also women, in 1946, by the Emperor through an imperial rescript issued on 20 June. The draft constitution was submitted and deliberated upon as the Bill for Revision of the Imperial Constitution.

The old constitution required that the bill receive the support of a two-thirds majority in both houses of the Diet to become law. Both chambers had made amendments. Without interference by MacArthur, House of Representatives added Article 17, which guarantees the right to sue the State for tort of officials, Article 40, which guarantees the right to sue the State for wrongful detention, and Article 25, which guarantees the right to life. [21] [22] The house also amended Article 9. And the House of Peers approved the document on 6 October; the House of Representatives adopted it in the same form the following day, with only five members voting against. It became law when it received the Emperor's assent on 3 November 1946. [23] Under its own terms, the constitution came into effect on 3 May 1947.

A government organisation, the Kenpō Fukyū Kai ("Constitution Popularisation Society"), was established to promote the acceptance of the new constitution among the populace. [24]

Early proposals for amendment

The new constitution would not have been written the way it was had MacArthur and his staff allowed Japanese politicians and constitutional experts to resolve the issue as they wished.[ citation needed ] The document's foreign origins have, understandably, been a focus of controversy since Japan recovered its sovereignty in 1952.[ citation needed ] Yet in late 1945 and 1946, there was much public discussion on constitutional reform, and the MacArthur draft was apparently greatly influenced by the ideas of certain Japanese liberals. The MacArthur draft did not attempt to impose a United States-style presidential or federal system. Instead, the proposed constitution conformed to the British model of parliamentary government, which was seen by the liberals as the most viable alternative to the European absolutism of the Meiji Constitution.[ citation needed ]

After 1952, conservatives and nationalists attempted to revise the constitution to make it more "Japanese", but these attempts were frustrated for a number of reasons. One was the extreme difficulty of amending it. Amendments require approval by two-thirds of the members of both houses of the National Diet before they can be presented to the people in a referendum (Article 96). Also, opposition parties, occupying more than one-third of the Diet seats, were firm supporters of the constitutional status quo. Even for members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the constitution was advantageous. They had been able to fashion a policy-making process congenial to their interests within its framework. Yasuhiro Nakasone, a strong advocate of constitutional revision during much of his political career, for example, downplayed the issue while serving as prime minister between 1982 and 1987.

Provisions

The constitution has a length of approximately 5,000 words and consists of a preamble and 103 articles grouped into 11 chapters. These are:

Edict

The Constitution of Japan signed by Emperor Showa and Ministers of State Constitution of Japan origin signatures 20140506.jpg
The Constitution of Japan signed by Emperor Showa and Ministers of State

The constitution starts with an imperial edict made by the Emperor. It contains the Emperor's Privy Seal and signature, and is countersigned by the Prime Minister and other Ministers of State as required by the previous constitution of the Empire of Japan. The edict states:

I rejoice that the foundation for the construction of a new Japan has been laid according to the will of the Japanese people, and hereby sanction and promulgate the amendments of the Imperial Japanese Constitution effected following the consultation with the Privy Council and the decision of the Imperial Diet made in accordance with Article 73 of the said Constitution. [23] [25]

Preamble

The constitution contains a firm declaration of the principle of popular sovereignty in the preamble. This is proclaimed in the name of the "Japanese people" and declares that "sovereign power resides with the people" and that:

Government is a sacred trust of the people, the authority for which is derived from the people, the powers of which are exercised by the representatives of the people, and the benefits of which are enjoyed by the people.

Part of the purpose of this language is to refute the previous constitutional theory that sovereignty resided in the Emperor. The constitution asserts that the Emperor is merely a symbol of the state, and that he derives "his position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power" (Article 1). The text of the constitution also asserts the liberal doctrine of fundamental human rights. In particular Article 97 states that:

the fundamental human rights by this constitution guaranteed to the people of Japan are fruits of the age-old struggle of man to be free; they have survived the many exacting tests for durability and are conferred upon this and future generations in trust, to be held for all time inviolate.

The Emperor (Articles 1–8)

Under the constitution, the Emperor is "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people". Sovereignty rests with the people, not the Emperor, as it did under the Meiji Constitution. [10] The Emperor carries out most functions of a head of state, formally appointing the Prime Minister and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, convoking the National Diet and dissolving the House of Representatives, and also promulgating statutes and treaties and exercising other enumerated functions. However, he acts under the advice and approval of the Cabinet or the Diet. [10]

In contrast with the Meiji Constitution, the Emperor's role is entirely ceremonial, as he does not have powers related to government. Unlike other constitutional monarchies, he is not even the nominal chief executive or even the nominal commander-in-chief of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF). The constitution explicitly limits the Emperor's role to matters of state delineated in the constitution. The constitution also states that these duties can be delegated by the Emperor as provided for by law.

Succession to the Chrysanthemum Throne is regulated by the Imperial Household Law and is managed by a ten-member body called the Imperial Household Council. The budget for the maintenance of the Imperial House is managed by resolutions of the Diet.

Renunciation of war (Article 9)

Under Article 9, the "Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes". To this end the article provides that "land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained". The necessity and practical extent of Article 9 has been debated in Japan since its enactment, particularly following the establishment of the Japan Self-Defence Forces (JSDF), a de facto post-war Japanese military force that substitutes for the pre-war Armed Forces, since 1 July 1954. Some lower courts have found the JSDF unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court never ruled on this issue. [10]

Individuals have also challenged the presence of U.S. forces in Japan as well as the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty under Article 9 of the Constitution. [26] The Supreme Court of Japan has found that the stationing of U.S. forces did not violate Article 9, because it did not involve forces under Japanese command. [26] The Court ruled that the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty to be a highly sensitive political question, and declined to rule on its legality under the political question doctrine. [26]

Various political groups have called for either revising or abolishing the restrictions of Article 9 to permit collective defence efforts and strengthen Japan's military capabilities.

The United States has pressured Japan to amend Article 9 and to rearm [27] [28] as early as 1948 [29] with Japan gradually expanding its military capabilities, "sidestepping constitutional constraints". [30]

Individual rights (Articles 10–40)

"The rights and duties of the people" are featured prominently in the post-war constitution. Thirty-one of its 103 articles are devoted to describing them in detail, reflecting the commitment to "respect for the fundamental human rights" of the Potsdam Declaration. Although the Meiji Constitution had a section devoted to the "rights and duties of subjects" which guaranteed "liberty of speech, writing, publication, public meetings, and associations", these rights were granted "within the limits of law" and could be limited by legislation. [10] Freedom of religious belief was allowed "insofar as it does not interfere with the duties of subjects" (all Japanese were required to acknowledge the Emperor's divinity, and those, such as Christians, who refused to do so out of religious conviction were accused of lèse-majesté). Such freedoms are delineated in the post-war constitution without qualification.

Individual rights under the Japanese constitution are rooted in Article 13 where the constitution asserts the right of the people "to be respected as individuals" and, subject to "the public welfare", to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". This article's core notion is jinkaku, which represents "the elements of character and personality that come together to define each person as an individual", and which represents the aspects of each individual's life that the government is obligated to respect in the exercise of its power. [31] Article 13 has been used as the basis to establish constitutional rights to privacy, self-determination and the control of an individual's own image, rights which are not explicitly stated in the constitution.

Subsequent provisions provide for:

Under Japanese case law, constitutional human rights apply to corporations to the extent possible given their corporate nature. Constitutional human rights also apply to foreign nationals to the extent that such rights are not by their nature only applicable to citizens (for example, foreigners have no right to enter Japan under Article 22 and no right to vote under Article 15, and their other political rights may be restricted to the extent that they interfere with the state's decision making).

Organs of government (Articles 41–95)

Politics under the Post-war Constitution Politics Under Constitution of Japan 04.svg
Politics under the Post-war Constitution

The constitution establishes a parliamentary system of government in which legislative authority is vested in a bicameral National Diet. Although a bicameral Diet existed under the existing constitution, the new constitution abolished the upper House of Peers, which consisted of members of the nobility (similar to the British House of Lords). The new constitution provides that both chambers be directly elected, with a lower House of Representatives and an upper House of Councillors.

The Diet nominates the Prime Minister from among its members, although the Lower House has the final authority if the two Houses disagree. [10] Thus, in practice, the Prime Minister is the leader of the majority party of the Lower House. [10] The House of Representatives has the sole ability to pass a vote of no confidence in the Cabinet, can override the House of Councillors' veto on any bill, and has priority in determining the national budget, and approving treaties.

Executive authority is vested in a cabinet, jointly responsible to the Diet, and headed by a Prime Minister. [10] The prime minister and a majority of the cabinet members must be members of the Diet, and have the right and obligation to attend sessions of the Diet. The Cabinet may also advise the Emperor to dissolve the House of Representatives and call for a general election to be held.

The judiciary consists of several lower courts headed by a Supreme Court. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is nominated by the Cabinet and appointed by the Emperor, while other justices are nominated and appointed by the Cabinet and attested by the Emperor. Lower court judges are nominated by the Supreme Court, appointed by the Cabinet and attested by the Emperor. All courts have the power of judicial review and may interpret the constitution to overrule statutes and other government acts, but only in the event that such interpretation is relevant to an actual dispute.

The constitution also provides a framework for local government, requiring that local entities have elected heads and assemblies, and providing that government acts applicable to particular local areas must be approved by the residents of those areas. These provisions formed the framework of the Local Autonomy Law of 1947, which established the modern system of prefectures, municipalities and other local government entities.

Amendments (Article 96)

Under Article 96, amendments to the constitution "shall be initiated by the Diet, through a concurring vote of two-thirds or more of all the members of each House and shall thereupon be submitted to the people for ratification, which shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of all votes cast thereon, at a special referendum or at such election as the Diet shall specify". The constitution has not been amended since its implementation in 1947, although there have been movements led by the Liberal Democratic Party to make various amendments to it.

Other provisions (Articles 97–103)

Article 97 provides for the inviolability of fundamental human rights. Article 98 provides that the constitution takes precedence over any "law, ordinance, imperial rescript or other act of government" that offends against its provisions, and that "the treaties concluded by Japan and established laws of nations shall be faithfully observed". In most nations it is for the legislature to determine to what extent, if at all, treaties concluded by the state will be reflected in its domestic law; under Article 98, however, international law and the treaties Japan has ratified automatically form a part of domestic law. Article 99 binds the Emperor and public officials to observe the constitution.

The final four articles set forth a six-month transitional period between adoption and implementation of the Constitution. This transitional period took place from 3 November 1946, to 3 May 1947. Pursuant to Article 100, the first House of Councillors election was held during this period in April 1947, and pursuant to Article 102, half of the elected Councillors were given three-year terms. A general election was also held during this period, as a result of which several former House of Peers members moved to the House of Representatives. Article 103 provided that public officials currently in office would not be removed as a direct result of the adoption or implementation of the new Constitution.

Amendments and revisions

Process

Article 96 provides that amendments can be made to the Constitution if approved by super majority of two-thirds of both houses of the Diet, and then by a simple majority in a popular referendum. The Emperor promulgates the successful amendment in the name of the people, and cannot veto it. Details of the process is determined by the Diet Act  [ ja ] [33] and the Act on Procedures for Amendment of the Constitution of Japan  [ ja ]. [34] [35]

Unlike some constitutions (e.g. the German, Italian, and French Constitutions), Japan's Constitution does not have an explicit entrenchment provision limiting what can be amended. [10] However, the Preamble of the Constitution declared democracy to be the "universal principle of mankind" and Article 97 proclaims the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution to be "for all time inviolable." [10] Because of this, scholars generally believe that basic principles such as the sovereignty of the people, pacifism, and respect for human rights unamendable. [10] [36]  More broadly, fundamental norms written in the Constitution by constituent power cannot be amended. Preamble of the Constitution states;”We reject and revoke all constitutions, laws, ordinances, and rescripts in conflict herewith”. Pacifism, popular sovereignty and respect for basic human rights are among them according to the Preamble and Article 11. [37]

History

The Constitution has not been amended since its enactment in 1946. [10] Some commentators have suggested that the Constitution's American authors favoured the difficulty of the amendment process from a desire that the fundamentals of the regime they had imposed would be resistant to change. [ citation needed ] Among the Japanese themselves, any change to the document and to the post-war settlement it embodies is highly controversial. From the 1960s to the 1980s, Constitutional revision was rarely debated, [38] although amendment of the Constitution has been one of the party line of the LDP since it was formed. [39] [40] [41] In the 1990s, right-leaning and conservative voices broke some taboos, [38] for example, when the newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun published a suggestion for Constitutional revision in 1994. [38] This period saw a number of right-leaning groups pushing aggressively for Constitutional revision and a significant number of organizations and individuals speaking out against revision [42] and in support of "the peace Constitution".

The debate has been highly polarised. The most controversial issues are proposed changes to Article 9—the "peace article"—and provisions relating to the role of the Emperor. Progressive, left, centre-left and peace movement-related individuals and organizations, as well as the opposition parties, [43] labor [44] and youth groups advocate keeping or strengthening the existing Constitution in these areas, while right-leaning, nationalist and conservative groups and individuals advocate changes to increase the prestige of the Emperor (though not granting him political powers) and to allow a more aggressive stance of the JSDF by turning it officially into a military. Other areas of the Constitution and connected laws discussed for potential revision related to the status of women, the education system and the system of public corporations (including social welfare, non-profit and religious organizations as well as foundations), and structural reform of the election process, e.g. to allow for direct election of the prime minister. [38] Numerous grassroots groups, associations, NGOs, think tanks, scholars, and politicians speak out on either side of the issue. [45]

Amendment Drafts by the LDP

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), one of the most influential political parties in Japan that has been in majority in the Diet for most of the time since its 1955 establishment, has adopted several party platforms each of which lists "revision of the current constitution" as a political motive. One of the earliest platforms, "The Duties of the Party" in 1955, points out as follows: [46]

Although democracy and liberalism emphasized under the control of the Allied occupation should be respected and upheld as a new principle for Japan, the initial objective of the occupying forces of the Allies was mainly to demoralize the State; therefore, many of the reforms implemented by the forces including those of the constitution, education and other governmental systems have been unjustly suppressing the notion of the State and patriotism of the people and excessively disuniting the national sovereignty.

In recent years the LDP has committed itself more to constitutional revision, following its victory in the September 2005 general election of the representatives. Currently, the party has released two versions of amendment drafts, one in 2005 and another in 2012.

2005 Draft

In August 2005, the then Japanese Prime Minister, Jun'ichirō Koizumi, proposed an amendment to the constitution to increase Japan's Defence Forces' roles in international affairs. A draft of the proposed constitution was released by the LDP on 22 November 2005 as part of the fiftieth anniversary of the party's founding. The proposed changes included:

  • New wording for the Preamble.
  • First paragraph of Article 9, renouncing war, is retained. The second paragraph, forbidding the maintenance of "land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential" is replaced by an Article 9-2 which permits a "defence force", under control of the Prime Minister, to defend the nation and which may participate in international activities. This new section uses the term "軍" (gun, "army" or "military"), which has been avoided in the current constitution. It also adds an Article 76 about military courts; members of the JSDF are currently tried as civilians by civilian courts.
  • Modified wording in Article 13, regarding respect for individual rights.
  • Changes in Article 20, which gives the state limited permission within "the scope of socially acceptable protocol" for "ethno-cultural practices". Changes Article 89 to permit corresponding state funding of religious institutions.
  • Changes to Articles 92 and 95, concerning local self-government and relations between local and national governments.
  • Changes to Article 96, reducing the vote requirement for constitutional amendments in the Diet from two-thirds to a simple majority. A national referendum would still be required.

This draft prompted debate, with strong opposition coming even from non-governmental organisations of other countries, as well as established and newly formed grassroots Japanese organisations, such as Save Article 9. Per the current constitution, a proposal for constitutional changes must be passed by a two-thirds vote in the Diet, then be put to a national referendum. However, there was in 2005 no legislation in place for such a referendum.

Koizumi's successor Shinzō Abe vowed to push aggressively for Constitutional revision. A major step toward this was getting legislation passed to allow for a national referendum in April 2007. [47] By that time there was little public support for changing the Constitution, with a survey showing 34.5% of Japanese not wanting any changes, 44.5% wanting no changes to Article 9, and 54.6% supporting the current interpretation on self-defense. [47] On the 60th anniversary of the Constitution, on 3 May 2007, thousands took to the streets in support of Article 9. [47] The Chief Cabinet secretary and other top government officials interpreted the survey to mean that the public wanted a pacifist Constitution that renounces war, and may need to be better informed about the details of the revision debate. [48] The legislation passed by parliament specifies that a referendum on Constitutional reform could take place at the earliest in 2010, and would need approval from a majority of voters.

2012 Draft

On 27 April 2012, the LDP drafted a new version of amendment [49] with an explanatory booklet [50] for general readers. The booklet states that the spirit of the amendment is to "make the Constitution more suitable for Japan" by "drastically revising the translationese wording and the provisions based on the theory of natural human rights currently adopted in the Constitution". [51] The proposed changes includes:

  • Preamble: In the LDP draft, the Preamble declares that Japan is reigned by the Emperor and adopts the popular sovereignty and trias politica principles. The current Preamble refers to the government as a trust of the people (implying the "natural rights codified into the constitution by the social contract" model) and ensures people "the right to live in peace, free from fear and want", but both mentions are deleted in the LDP draft.
  • Emperor: Overall, the LDP draft adopts a wording that sounds as though the Emperor has greater power than under the current Constitution. [52] The draft defines him as "the head of the State" (Article 1). [53] Compared to the current Constitution, he is exempted from "the obligation to respect and uphold this Constitution" (Article 102). The draft defines Nisshōki as the national flag and Kimigayo the national anthem (Article 3).
  • Human rights: The LDP draft, as the accompanying booklet states, revises many of the human right provisions currently adopted in the Constitution. The booklet describes the reason of these changes as: "Human rights should have ground on the State's history, culture and tradition" and "Several of the current Constitutional provisions are based on the Western-European theory of natural human rights; such provisions therefore require to be changed." [54] The draft lists every instance of the basic rights as something that is entitled by the State  as opposed to something that human beings inherently possess  as seen in the draft provisions of "new human rights" (see below).

The current Constitution has the phrase "public welfare" in four articles (Articles 12, 13, 22 and 29) and states that any human right is subject to restriction when it "interferes with the public welfare". The majority of legal professionals argue that the spirit of such restriction against rights based on "public welfare" is to protect other people's rights from infringement. [55] In the LDP draft, every instance of the phrase "public welfare" is replaced with a new phrase: "public interest and public order". The booklet describes the reason for this change as "to enable the State to restrict human rights for the sake of purposes other than protecting people's rights from infringement", [54] but it remains unclear under what conditions the State can restrict human rights. It also explains that what "public order" means is "order of society" and its intention is not to prohibit the people from making an objection to the government, [56] but it explains nothing about "public interest".

Provisions regarding the people's rights modified or added in the LDP draft include:

  • [Individualism]: The LDP draft replaces the word "individuals" with "persons" (Article 13). This change reflects the draft authors' view that "excessive individualism" is an ethically unacceptable thought.[ citation needed ] [57]
  • Human rights and the supremacy of the constitution: The current constitution has Article 97 at the beginning of the "Supreme Law" chapter, which stipulates that the constitution guarantees the basic human rights to the people. The current, prevalent interpretation of Article 97 is that this article describes the essential reason why this constitution is the supreme law, which is the fact that the constitution's spirit is to guarantee human rights. [58] In the LDP draft, this article is deleted and the booklet does not explain any reason for the deletion.
  • Freedom of assembly, association, speech and all other forms of expression: The LDP draft adds a new paragraph on Article 21, which enables the State to prohibit the people from performing expressions "for the purpose of interfering with public interest and public order". The LDP explain that this change makes it easy for the State to take countermeasures against criminal organizations like Aum Shinrikyo. [59]
  • Right to property: The LDP draft adds a new paragraph stating that the State shall define intellectual property rights "for the sake of promotion of the people's intellectual creativity" (Article 29).
  • Workers' rights: Workers have the right to participate in a labour union, but currently there is a dispute on whether public officials should be entitled to this right. The LDP draft add a new paragraph to make it clear that public officials shall not enjoy this right or part thereof (Article 28).
  • Freedom from torture and cruel punishments: Under the current constitution, torture and cruel punishments are "absolutely forbidden", but the LDP draft deletes the word "absolutely" (Article 36). The reason for this change is not presented in the booklet.
  • "New human rights": The LDP draft adds four provisions regarding the concept collectively called "new human rights": [60] protection of privacy (Article 19–2), accountability of the State (Article 21–2), environmental protection (Article 25–2), and rights of crime victims (Article 25–4). However, the draft only requires the State to make a good faith effort to meet the stated goals and does not entitle the people to these "rights", as the booklet points out. [61]
  • Obligations of the people: The LDP draft can be characterized by its obligation clauses imposed on the people. The current constitution lists three obligations: to work (Article 27), to pay taxes as provided for by law (Article 30), and to have all boys and girls under their protection receive ordinary education as provided for by law (Article 26). The LDP draft adds six more:
    • The people must respect the national anthem and flag (Article 3).
    • The people must be conscious of the fact that there are responsibilities and obligations in compensation for freedom and rights (Article 12).
    • The people must comply with the public interest and public order (Article 12).
    • The people must help one another among the members of a household (Article 24).
    • The people must obey commands from the State or the subordinate offices thereof in a state of emergency (Article 99).
    • The people must uphold the constitution (Article 102).

Additionally, although defence of the national territory (Article 9–3) and environmental protection (Article 25–2) are literally listed under the LDP draft as obligations of the State, these provisions let the State call for the "cooperation with the people" to meet the goals provided, effectively functioning as obligation clauses on the people's side.

  • Equality: The current constitution guarantees equality to citizens, prohibiting any discrimination based on "race, creed, sex, social status or family origin". The LDP draft adds "handicaps" (Articles 14 and 44) between "sex" and "social status", improving the equality under the law. On the other hand, the sentence "No privilege shall accompany any award of honor, decoration or any distinction" in the current paragraph (2) of Article 14 is deleted in the LDP draft, which means that the State shall be allowed to grant "privilege" as part of national awards. The reason for this change is not presented in the booklet.
  • National security: The LDP draft deletes the current provision declaring that armed forces and other war potential shall never be maintained, and adds new Articles 9-2 and 9-3 stating that the "National Defense Force" shall be set up and the Prime Minister shall be its commander-in-chief. According to the paragraph (3) of the new Article 9–2, the National Defense Force not only can defend the territory from a foreign attack and can participate in international peacekeeping operations, but also can operate to either maintain domestic public order or to protect individual rights.
  • State of emergency: The LDP draft grants the Prime Minister the authority to declare a "state of emergency" in a national emergency including foreign invasions, domestic rebellions and natural disasters (Article 98). When in a state of emergency, the Cabinet can enact orders that have the effect of the laws passed by the [National Diet] (Article 99).
  • Relaxation of separation of religion and the State: The LDP draft deletes the current clause that prohibits the State from granting "political authority" to a religious organization, and enables the State to perform religious acts itself within the scope of "social protocol or ethno-cultural practices" (Article 20).
  • Political control over the courts: Unlike the current constitution, which guarantees that the Supreme court judges shall not be dismissed unless the "review" procedure stipulated by the constitution, the LDP draft enables the Diet to define this review procedure through a Diet-enacted law, not the constitution (Article 79). The draft also states that salary of a judge  of both the Supreme Court and inferior courts  could be decreased in the same manner as any other kinds of public officials (Articles 79 and 80) by the subordinate offices of the State (namely, the National Personnel Authority).
  • Further amendments: The LDP draft states that a simple majority in the two Houses shall be adequate for a motion for constitutional amendment (Article 96). An actual amendment shall still require a national referendum, but a simple majority in "the number of valid votes actually cast", as opposed to "the number of a qualified voters" or "the number of votes", shall enact the amendment (Article 96).

2014 Reinterpretation

On 1 July 2014, a Cabinet meeting issued a decision on Article 9, reinterpreting the Constitution and to approve collective defence operations by the JSDF. [29] [28] This decision was challenged as violation of the Constitution by Japanese Federation of Bar Associations. [62] Historically, the government has maintained that Article 9 forbids the right to collective defence. [63]

See also

Former constitutions

Others

Notes

  1. 1 2 Kristof, Nicholas D. (12 November 1995). "THE WORLD;Japan's State Symbols: Now You See Them . . ". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  2. Kakinohana, Hōjun (23 September 2013). "個人の尊厳は憲法の基 ― 天皇の元首化は時代に逆行 ―". Japan Institute of Constitutional Law (in Japanese). Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  3. 1 2 "The Anomalous Life of the Japanese Constitution". Nippon.com. 15 August 2017. Archived from the original on 11 August 2019. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  4. Takemae 2002, pp. 270-271.
  5. Kapur 2018, p. 11.
  6. 1 2 Hunt, Michael (2013). The World Transformed:1945 to the Present. Oxford University Press. p. 86. ISBN   9780199371020.
  7. 1 2 Moritsugu, Ken (18 August 2016). "Biden's remark on Japan Constitution raises eyebrows". AP NEWS. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  8. Kapur 2018, p. 9.
  9. Ito, Masami, "Constitution again faces calls for revision to meet reality", Japan Times , 1 May 2012, p. 3.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Oda, Hiroshi (2009). "Sources of Law". Japanese Law. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199232185.001.1. ISBN   978-0-19-923218-5.
  11. John Dower, Embracing Defeat, 1999, pp. 374, 375, 383, 384.
  12. Dower, John W. (1999). Embracing defeat: Japan in the wake of World War II (1st ed.). New York: W.W. Norton & Co/New Press. pp.  365–367. ISBN   978-0393046861.
  13. "Beate Gordon, a drafter of Japan's Constitution, dies at 89". The Mainichi. 1 January 2013. Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  14. "Documents with Commentaries Part 2 Creation of Various Proposals to Reform the Constitution/2-16 Constitution Investigation Association, "Outline of Constitution Draft," December 26, 1945". National Diet Library. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  15. Inoue, Kyoko (1991). MacArthur's Japanese Constitution. University of Chicago Press. pp. 29–30. ISBN   978-0-226-38391-0.
  16. Inoue, Kyoko (1 January 1987). "Democracy in the ambiguities of two languages and cultures: the birth of a Japanese constitution". 25 (3): 595–606. doi:10.1515/ling.1987.25.3.595. ISSN   1613-396X.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  17. "Looking back in Yearning". The Economist. 186: 14. 8 March 1958.
  18. Takemae 2002, p. xxxvii.
  19. John Dower, Embracing Defeat, p.411: "categories of deletions and suppressions" in CCD's key log in June 1946.
  20. Dower, p. 407
  21. Hideki SHIBUTANI(渋谷秀樹)(2013) Japanese Constitutional Law. 2nd ed.(憲法 第2版) p487 Yuhikaku Publishing(有斐閣)
  22. "衆憲資第90号「日本国憲法の制定過程」に関する資料" (PDF). Commission on the Constitution, The House of Representatives, Japan. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  23. 1 2 "Text of the Constitution and Other Important Documents". National Diet Library. Archived from the original on 6 November 2020. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  24. "Publication and Work of the Constitution Popularization Society". Birth of the Constitution of Japan. National Diet Library of Japan. Archived from the original on 13 June 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  25. "日本国憲法". National Archives of Japan. Archived from the original on 1 July 2015. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  26. 1 2 3 Chen, Po Liang; Wada, Jordan T. (2017). "Can the Japanese Supreme Court Overcome the Political Question Hurdle?". Washington International Law Journal. 26: 349–79.
  27. "Article 9 and the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty | Asia for Educators | Columbia University". afe.easia.columbia.edu. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  28. 1 2 Takenaka, Linda Sieg, Kiyoshi (1 July 2014). "Japan takes historic step from post-war pacifism, OKs fighting for allies". Reuters. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  29. 1 2 Umeda, Sayuri (September 2015). "Japan: Interpretations of Article 9 of the Constitution". www.loc.gov. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  30. Kingston, Jeff (11 November 2020). "Japan's quiet rearmament". Prospect Magazine. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  31. Levin, Mark (2001). "Essential Commodities and Racial Justice: Using Constitutional Protection of Japan's Indigenous Ainu People to Inform Understandings of the United States and Japan". Rochester, NY. SSRN   1635451 .Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  32. Levin, Mark (5 August 2010). "Civil Justice and the Constitution: Limits on Instrumental Judicial Administration in Japan". Rochester, NY. SSRN   1653992 .Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  33. "国会法". House of Representatives, Japan. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  34. "法律第五十一号(平一九・五・一八) 日本国憲法の改正手続に関する法律". House of Representatives, Japan. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  35. "暮らしに役立つ情報 「国民投票法」って何だろう?". Cabinet Office Government of Japan. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  36. N. Ashibe, Kenpō (Constitutional Law), 4th edn, supplemented by K. Takahashi (Tokyo, 2007), pp. 378–381
  37. Hideki SHIBUTANI(渋谷秀樹)(2013) Japanese Constitutional Law. 2nd ed.(憲法 第2版) p34-5 Yuhikaku Publishing(有斐閣)
  38. 1 2 3 4 "Japanese Studies: Constitutional Revision Research Project". Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University. 2007. Archived from the original on 18 May 2007.
  39. "憲法改正を目指す". Liberal Democratic Party. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  40. "立党宣言・綱領". Liberal Democratic Party. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  41. "新党結成大会議案 芦田均関係文書". National Diet Library, Japan. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  42. "Citizens' Groups/NGOs". Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University. 2007. Archived from the original on 21 June 2007.
  43. "Political Parties". Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University. 2010. Archived from the original on 21 April 2010.
  44. "Labor Groups". Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University. 2007. Archived from the original on 6 February 2010.
  45. "Constitutional revision research project: Web archives". Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University. 2007. Archived from the original on 9 March 2010.
  46. "Response to Abe's drive: Support falls for amending Constitution". Japan Times. 17 April 2007. Archived from the original on 13 August 2007.
  47. 1 2 3 "Japan approves Constitution steps". BBC News. 14 May 2007. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  48. Support falls for amending Constitution | The Japan Times Online
  49. Nihon-koku Kenpou Kaisei Souan, http://www.jimin.jp/policy/policy_topics/pdf/seisaku-109.pdf
  50. Nihon-koku Kenpou Kaisei Souan Q & A, http://www.jimin.jp/policy/pamphlet/pdf/kenpou_qa.pdf Archived 3 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  51. Nihon-koku Kenpou Kaisei Souan Q & A, p. 3.
  52. For example, the paragraph (4) of Article 6 of the LDP draft requires that the Emperor should obtain the shingen ("advice", especially one given from a subordinate to his superior) from the Cabinet, as opposed to the jogen to shōnin ("advice and approval") as stipulated in the current Constitution, for his all acts in matters of the State. The booklet explains that the reason for this change is because the phrase jogen to shōnin sounds "offensive to the Emperor" (Nihon-koku Kenpou Kaisei Souan Q & A, p. 8).
  53. The LDP explains that the reason of this change is because the Emperor was formerly defined as "the head of the Empire" in the Article 4 of the Constitution of the Empire of Japan (Nihon-koku Kenpou Kaisei Souan Q & A, p. 7).
  54. 1 2 Nihon-koku Kenpou Kaisei Souan Q & A, p. 14.
  55. For example, Ashibe, Nobuyoshi, Kenpou, fifth edition, edited by Takahashi, Kazuyuki, Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten (2011), pp. 100–101.
  56. Nihon-koku Kenpou Kaisei Souan Q & A, pp. 14–15.
  57. "平成23年5月3日". BLOGOS (in Japanese). Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  58. Ashibe-Takahashi (2011), p. 12.
  59. Nihon-koku Kenpou Kaisei Souan Q & A, p. 17.
  60. Ashibe-Takahashi (2011), pp. 118–124.
  61. Nihon-koku Kenpou Kaisei Souan Q & A, p. 15.
  62. "日本弁護士連合会:Opinion Concerning the Cabinet's Decision Approving the Exercise of the Right to Collective Self-Defense, etc". www.nichibenren.or.jp. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  63. "日本弁護士連合会:集団的自衛権の行使等を容認する閣議決定に抗議し撤回を求める会長声明". 日本弁護士連合会 (in Japanese). Retrieved 24 May 2021.

Related Research Articles

Emperor of Japan Head of state of Japan

The Emperor of Japan is the monarch and the head of the Imperial Family of Japan. Under the Constitution of Japan, he is defined as "the Symbol of the State and of the Unity of the People" and his title is derived from "the Will of the People, who are the Sovereign". Imperial Household Law governs the line of imperial succession. The Supreme Court does not have judicial power over him. He is also the Head of the Shinto religion. In Japanese, the Emperor is called Tennō, literally "Heavenly Sovereign". The Japanese Shinto religion holds him to be the direct descendant of the solar goddess Amaterasu. The Emperor is also the head of all national Japanese orders, decorations, medals, and awards. In English, the use of the term Mikado (帝/御門) for the emperor was once common but is now considered obsolete.

Prime Minister of Japan Head of government of Japan

The prime minister of Japan is the head of government of Japan, the chief executive of the National Cabinet and the commander-in-chief of the Japanese Armed Forces; he is appointed by the emperor of Japan after being designated by the National Diet and must enjoy the confidence of the House of Representatives to remain in office. He is the head of the Cabinet and appoints and dismisses the other ministers of state. The literal translation of the Japanese name for the office is Minister for the Comprehensive Administration of the Cabinet.

Civil liberties are guarantees and freedoms that liberal governments commit not to abridge, either by legislation or judicial interpretation, without due process. Though the scope of the term differs between countries, civil liberties may include the freedom of conscience, freedom of press, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, the right to security and liberty, freedom of speech, the right to privacy, the right to equal treatment under the law and due process, the right to a fair trial, and the right to life. Other civil liberties include the right to own property, the right to defend oneself, and the right to bodily integrity. Within the distinctions between civil liberties and other types of liberty, distinctions exist between positive liberty/positive rights and negative liberty/negative rights.

Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution is a clause in the national Constitution of Japan outlawing war as a means to settle international disputes involving the state. The Constitution came into effect on 3 May 1947, following World War II. In its text, the state formally renounces the sovereign right of belligerency and aims at an international peace based on justice and order. The article also states that, to accomplish these aims, armed forces with war potential will not be maintained. The Constitution was imposed by the United States in the post-World War II period.

National Diet Legislature of Japan

The National Diet is Japan's bicameral legislature. It is composed of a lower house, called the House of Representatives, and an upper house, the House of Councillors. Both houses are directly elected under a parallel voting system. In addition to passing laws, the Diet is formally responsible for selecting the Prime Minister. The Diet was first convened as the Imperial Diet in 1890 under the Meiji Constitution, and took its current form in 1947 upon the adoption of the post-war constitution. Both houses meet in the National Diet Building in Nagatachō, Chiyoda, Tokyo.

Constitution of Spain Principles, institutions and law of political governance in Spain

The Spanish Constitution is the democratic law that is supreme in the Kingdom of Spain. It was enacted after its approval in a constitutional referendum, and it is the culmination of the Spanish transition to democracy. The Constitution of 1978 is one of about a dozen of other historical Spanish constitutions and constitution-like documents; however, it is one of two fully democratic constitutions. It was sanctioned by King Juan Carlos I on 27 December, and published in the Boletín Oficial del Estado on 29 December, the date in which it became effective. The promulgation of the constitution marked the culmination of the Spanish transition to democracy after the death of general Francisco Franco, on 20 November 1975, who ruled over Spain as a military dictator for nearly 40 years. This led to the country undergoing a series of political, social and historical changes that transformed the Francoist regime into a democratic state.

Meiji Constitution Constitution of the Empire of Japan, in effect from 1890 to 1947

The Constitution of the Empire of Japan, known informally as the Meiji Constitution, was the constitution of the Empire of Japan which was proclaimed on February 11, 1889, and remained in force between November 29, 1890 and May 2, 1947. Enacted after the Meiji Restoration in 1868, it provided for a form of mixed constitutional and absolute monarchy, based jointly on the German and British models. In theory, the Emperor of Japan was the supreme leader, and the Cabinet, whose Prime Minister would be elected by a Privy Council, were his followers; in practice, the Emperor was head of state but the Prime Minister was the actual head of government. Under the Meiji Constitution, the Prime Minister and his Cabinet were not necessarily chosen from the elected members of the group.

The law of Japan refers to legal system in Japan, which is primarily based on legal codes and statutes, with precedents also playing an important role. Japan has a civil law legal system with six legal codes, which were greatly influenced by Germany, to a lesser extent by France, and also adapted to Japanese circumstances. The Japanese Constitution enacted after World War II is the supreme law in Japan. An independent judiciary has the power to review laws and government acts for constitutionality.

Cabinet of Japan Executive branch of the government of Japan

The Cabinet of Japan is the executive branch of the government of Japan. It consists of the Prime Minister, who is appointed by the Emperor after being designated by the National Diet, and up to nineteen other members, called Ministers of State. The Prime Minister is designated by the Diet, and the remaining ministers are appointed and dismissed by the Prime Minister. The Cabinet is collectively responsible to the Diet and must resign if a motion of no confidence is adopted by the Diet.

Act on National Flag and Anthem Japanese law ratified in 1999

The Act on National Flag and Anthem, abbreviated as 国旗国歌法, is a law that formally established Japan's national flag and anthem. Before its ratification on August 13, 1999, there was no official flag or anthem for Japan. The nisshōki (日章旗) flag, commonly referred to as the hinomaru (日の丸), had represented Japan unofficially since 1870; "Kimigayo" (君が代) had been used as Japan's de facto anthem since 1880.

Privy Council of Japan Advisors to Japanese Emperor (1888–1947)

The Privy Council of Japan was an advisory council to the Emperor of Japan that operated from 1888 to 1947. It was largely used to limit the power of the Imperial Diet.

Freedom and Peoples Rights Movement

The Freedom and People's Rights Movement, Liberty and Civil Right Movement, or Free Civil Right Movement was a Japanese political and social movement for democracy in the 1880s. It pursued the formation of an elected legislature, revision of the Unequal Treaties with the United States and European countries, the institution of civil rights, and the reduction of centralized taxation.

  1. Deliberative assemblies shall be widely established and all matters decided by open discussion.
  2. All classes, high and low, shall be united in vigorously carrying out the administration of affairs of state.
  3. The common people, no less than the civil and military officials, shall all be allowed to pursue their own calling so that there may be no discontent.
  4. Evil customs of the past shall be broken off and everything based upon the just laws of Nature.
  5. Knowledge shall be sought throughout the world so as to strengthen the foundation of imperial rule.

The Government of Meiji Japan was the government that was formed by politicians of the Satsuma Domain and Chōshū Domain in the 1860s. The Meiji government was the early government of the Empire of Japan.

Constitution of South Korea Constitution

The Constitution of the Republic of Korea is the supreme law of South Korea. It was promulgated on July 17, 1948 and last revised on October 29, 1987.

Fundamental rights in India are the rights guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution of India. There are six fundamental rights recognised by the Indian constitution : the right to equality, the right to freedom, the right against exploitation, the right to freedom of religion, cultural and educational rights and the right to constitutional remedies.

Constitution of Uzbekistan

The Constitution of Uzbekistan was adopted on 8 December 1992 on the 11th session of the Supreme Council of Uzbekistan. It replaced the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan of 1978. It is the supreme law of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The Constitution of Uzbekistan contains six parts and it is further divided into 26 chapters.

Government of Japan Constitutional monarchy which governs Japan

The Government of Japan is the central government of Japan. The Government of Japan consists of legislature, executive and judiciary branches and is based on popular sovereignty. The Government runs under the framework established by the Constitution of Japan, adopted in 1947. It is a unitary state, containing forty-seven administrative divisions, with the Emperor as its Head of State. His role is ceremonial and he has no powers related to Government. Instead, it is the Cabinet, comprising the Ministers of State and the Prime Minister, that directs and controls the Government and the civil service. The Cabinet has the executive power and is formed by the Prime Minister, who is the Head of Government. He is designated by the National Diet and appointed to office by the Emperor.

In criminal law, the right to a speedy trial is a human right under which it is asserted that a government prosecutor may not delay the trial of a criminal suspect arbitrarily and indefinitely. Otherwise, the power to impose such delays would effectively allow prosecutors to send anyone to jail for an arbitrary length of time without trial.

Article 96 of the Japanese Constitution is a clause in the national Constitution of Japan specifying the process for making amendments. Details of the process is determined by the Diet Act and the Act on Procedures for Amendment of the Constitution of Japan. The Constitution has remained unchanged since coming into effect on May 3, 1947, and many politicians are calling for a revision of Article 96 so that they can begin revising other, more central Articles.

Article 13 may refer to:

References