Chapter 3. Rights and Duties of the People
Chapter 3 consists of articles 10 through 40, which detail the outlines of the relation between the people and their government in terms of the people’s rights and obligations. All persons are equal under the law, and the “essential equality of the sexes” is recognized. The necessary criteria to be recognized as Japanese are to be decided in law. The rights enumerated in this chapter are specified to belong to the people as individuals, and no person is to be deprived of any of them based on race, sex, religious belief, or family origin. Among the rights are freedom of speech, thought and conscience, academic freedom, freedom of religion, assembly, the press, universal adult suffrage and ballot secrecy, the right to seek redress from government, and rights of collective bargaining.
Chapter 3. Rights and Duties of the People
Article 10. The conditions necessary for being a Japanese national shall be determined by law.
Article 11. The people shall not be prevented from enjoying any of the fundamental human rights. These fundamental human rights guaranteed to the people by this Constitution shall be conferred upon the people of this and future generations as eternal and inviolate rights.
Article 12. he freedoms and rights guaranteed to the people by this Constitution shall be maintained by the constant endeavor of the people, who shall refrain from any abuse of these freedoms and rights and shall always be responsible for utilizing them for the public welfare.
Article 13. All of the people shall be respected as individuals. Their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness shall, to the extent that it does not interfere with the public welfare, be the supreme consideration in legislation and in other governmental affairs.
Article 14. All of the people are equal under the law and there shall be no discrimination in political, economic or social relations because of race, creed, sex, social status or family origin.
(2) Peers and peerage shall not be recognized.
(3) No privilege shall accompany any award of honor, decoration or any distinction, nor shall any such award be valid beyond the lifetime of the individual who now holds or hereafter may receive it.
Article 15. The people have the inalienable right to choose their public officials and to dismiss them.
(2) All public officials are servants of the whole community and not of any group thereof.
(3) Universal adult suffrage is guaranteed with regard to the election of public officials.
(4) In all elections, secrecy of the ballot shall not be violated. A voter shall not be answerable, publicly or privately, for the choice he has made.
Article 16. Every person shall have the right of peaceful petition for the redress of damage, for the removal of public officials, for the enactment, repeal or amendment of laws, ordinances or regulations and for other matters; nor shall any person be in any way discriminated against for sponsoring such a petition.
Article 17. Every person may sue for redress as provided by law from the State or a public entity, in case he has suffered damage through illegal act of any public official.
Article 18. No person shall be held in bondage of any kind. Involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime, is prohibited.
Article 19. Freedom of thought and conscience shall not be violated.
Article 20. Freedom of religion is guaranteed to all. No religious organization shall receive any privileges from the State, nor exercise any political authority.
(2) No person shall be compelled to take part in any religious act, celebration, rite or practice.
(3) The State and its organs shall refrain from religious education or any other religious activity.
Article 21. Freedom of assembly and association as well as speech, press and all other forms of expression are guaranteed.
(2) No censorship shall be maintained, nor shall the secrecy of any means of communication be violated.
Article 22. Every person shall have freedom to choose and change his residence and to choose his occupation to the extent that it does not interfere with the public welfare.
(2) Freedom of all persons to move to a foreign country and to divest themselves of their nationality shall be inviolate.
Article 23. Academic freedom is guaranteed.
Article 24. Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes and it shall be maintained through mutual cooperation with the equal rights of husband and wife as a basis.
(2) With regard to choice of spouse, property rights, inheritance, choice of domicile, divorce and other matters pertaining to marriage and the family, laws shall be enacted from the standpoint of individual dignity and the essential equality of the sexes.
Article 25. All people shall have the right to maintain the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living.
(2) In all spheres of life, the State shall use its endeavors for the promotion and extension of social welfare and security, and of public health.
Article 26. All people shall have the right to receive an equal education correspondent to their ability, as provided by law.
(2) All people shall be obligated to have all boys and girls under their protection receive ordinary education as provided for by law. Such compulsory education shall be free.
Article 27. All people shall have the right and the obligation to work.
(2) Standards for wages, hours, rest and other working conditions shall be fixed by law.
(3) Children shall not be exploited.
Article 28. The right of workers to organize and to bargain and act collectively is guaranteed.
Article 29. The right to own or to hold property is inviolable.
(2) Property rights shall be defined by law, in conformity with the public welfare.
(3) Private property may be taken for public use upon just compensation therefor.
Article 30. The people shall be liable to taxation as provided by law.
Article 31. No person shall be deprived of life or liberty, nor shall any other criminal penalty be imposed, except according to procedure established by law.
Article 32. No person shall be denied the right of access to the courts.
Article 33. No person shall be apprehended except upon warrant issued by a competent judicial officer which specifies the offense with which the person is charged, unless he is apprehended, the offense being committed.
Article 34. No person shall be arrested or detained without being at once informed of the charges against him or without the immediate privilege of counsel; nor shall he be detained without adequate cause; and upon demand of any person such cause must be immediately shown in open court in his presence and the presence of his counsel.
Article 35. The right of all persons to be secure in their homes, papers and effects against entries, searches and seizures shall not be impaired except upon warrant issued for adequate cause and particularly describing the place to be searched and things to be seized, or except as provided by Article 33.
(2) Each search or seizure shall be made upon separate warrant issued by a competent judicial officer.
Article 36. The infliction of torture by any public officer and cruel punishments are absolutely forbidden.
Article 37. In all criminal cases the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial tribunal.
(2) He shall be permitted full opportunity to examine all witnesses, and he shall have the right of compulsory process for obtaining witnesses on his behalf at public expense.
(3) At all times the accused shall have the assistance of competent counsel who shall, if the accused is unable to secure the same by his own efforts, be assigned to his use by the State.
Article 38. No person shall be compelled to testify against himself.
(2) Confession made under compulsion, torture or threat, or after prolonged arrest or detention shall not be admitted in evidence.
(3) No person shall be convicted or punished in cases where the only proof against him is his own confession.
Article 39. No person shall be held criminally liable for an act which was lawful at the time it was committed, or of which he has been acquitted, nor shall he be placed in double jeopardy.
Article 40. Any person, in case he is acquitted after he has been arrested or detained, may sue the State for redress as provided by law.