Kankyō Bunmei 21: Japan Association of Environment and Society for the 21st Century (2010)
We, the Japanese people, acting through our duly elected representatives in the National Diet, determined that we shall secure for ourselves and our posterity the fruits of peaceful cooperation with all nations and the blessings of liberty throughout this land, and resolved that never again shall we be visited with the horrors of war through the action of government, do proclaim that sovereign power resides with the people and do firmly establish this Constitution. 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. This is a universal principle of mankind upon which this Constitution is founded. We reject and revoke all constitutions, laws, ordinances, and rescripts in conflict herewith.
We, the Japanese people, desire peace for all time and a healthy and bountiful environment,4 and are deeply conscious of the high ideals controlling human relationship and the responsibility to protect the environment, and we have determined to preserve our security and existence, along with that of future generations, trusting in the justice and faith of the peace-loving peoples of the world. We desire to occupy an honored place in an international society striving for the preservation of peace, and the banishment of tyranny and slavery, oppression and intolerance for all time from the earth. We recognize that all peoples of the world have the right to live and the responsibility to maintain peace and a sustainable society, free from fear, want, and destruction of the environment.
We believe that no nation is responsible to itself alone, but that laws of political morality are universal; and that obedience to such laws is incumbent upon all nations who would sustain their own sovereignty and justify their sovereign relationship with other nations.
We, the Japanese people, pledge our national honor to accomplish these high ideals and purposes with all our resources.
Chapter III. The Environment5
Chapter III, Article 1. (Rights and Responsibilities)
Every person shall have the right to enjoy a healthy and bountiful environment, which is formed by the activity of the earth and is the foundation of all life. Every person shall also have the responsibility to preserve the environment and hand it down to future generations.
Chapter III, Article 2. (Responsibilities of the State and Participation by the People)
In the formulation and execution of all policies, the state shall prioritize the integrity of the environment, work towards the construction of a sustainable society in which humans are in harmony with the environment, and guarantee participation by the people in that process.
Chapter III, Article 3. (Precautionary Principle)
All people shall ground themselves on a precautionary principle which takes prevention as a fundamental in circumstances that may cause a significant effect on human health or the ecosystem, even in the presence of scientific uncertainty.
Chapter III, Article 4. (International Cooperation)
In light of the fact that environmental protection on a planetary scale is an issue shared by all mankind, international cooperation related to the construction of a sustainable society shall be actively pursued.
Clarification of the concept of “public welfare.”
The concept of “public welfare” contained in articles 12, 13, 22, and 29 of the current constitution shall be clarified by interpreting it to include “the creation and maintenance of a sustainable society” at its core.