Japanese Constitutional Law

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Under its postwar Constitution, which was promulgated in 1947, Japan adopted the principles of popular sovereignty, protection of fundamental human rights, judicial independence, and pacifism. It was a somewhat radical change from the Meiji Constitution which it replaced. Despite initial fears concerning a constitution imposed by foreign powers - would an authoritarian and traditionalist society and a government hitherto based on the divinity of the emperor be able to adapt to the principles of democratic self-government? - the transition to popular sovereignty proved successful. And although debates over constitutional revision have continued since its enactment, the Constitution has provided the institutional and conceptual framework for the prosperity and democracy that Japan has enjoyed since the war. This volume brings together the reflections and analyses of leading Japanese and American scholars of the Japanese Constitution. They review the past four decades, focusing on the status of the emperor, reappraisal and revisionism, judicial review, and the balance between individual liberties and the public welfare. The renunciation-of-war clause (Article 9) and separation of religion and the state are among the many other topics examined.
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Editorial Reviews

In 1947, Japan had been defeated in war, and the victors imposed an alien constitution on the country. The society was authoritarian and traditionalist; the constitution called for popular sovereignty, the protection of fundamental human rights, judicial independence, and pacifism. But it has worked for 40 years now. American and Japanese scholars explain how, discussing the status of the emperor, the revision of the constitution, judicial review, the balance between individual liberties and the public welfare, the renunciation of war, the separation of religion and the state, and other topics. The 15 papers are revised and updated from presentations at a 1989 symposium at Duke University. Distributed in the US by Columbia U. Press. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780860084976
  • Publisher: University of Tokyo Press
  • Publication date: 2/24/1994
  • Pages: 340
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Forty Years of the Constitution and Its Various Influences: Japanese, American, and European 1
The Constitution of Japan: Pacifism, Popular Sovereignty, and Fundamental Human Rights 39
The Constitution and the Emperor System: Is Revisionism Alive? 57
Article Nine: Renunciation of War 69
Contemporary Democracy in a Parliamentary System 87
Authority of the National and Local Governments Under the Constitution 109
The Judiciary: Its Organization and Status in the Parliamentary System 123
Adjudication and the Governing Process: Political Questions and Legislative Discretion 151
Rule of Law and Due Process: A Comparative View of the United States and Japan 173
Equal Protection of the Law 187
The Separation of Religion and State 205
Freedom of Expression: The Continuing Revolution 221
Freedom of Economic Activities and the Right to Property 255
Welfare Rights 269
Rights of the Criminally Accused 289
Appendix: The Constitution of Japan 319
Contributors 331
Index 333
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