Full Draft


Matsumoto Jōji
Tentative Revision of the Meiji Constitution (Plan A)1
January 4, 1946

Source: Charles L. Kades papers, Gordon W. Prange Collection, University of Maryland.

Article 3.
The Emperor is exhalted and inviolable.

Article 6.
The Emperor convokes the Imperial Diet, opens, closes, and prorogues it.
(2) The Emperor dissolves the House of Representatives; but he may not dissolve it over again for the one and same reason.

Article 8.
The Emperor, in consequence of an urgent necessity to maintain public safety or to avert public calamities, issues, when the Imperial Diet is not sitting, Imperial Ordinances in the place of law. But in so doing, he shall consult the Diet Standing Committee in advance, according to the provision of the Diet Law.
(2) Such Imperial Ordinances are to be laid before the Imperial Diet at its next sessions, and when the Diet does not approve the said Ordinances, the government shall declare them to be invalid for the future.

Article 9.
The Emperor issues or causes to be issued the Orders necessary for executing the laws, or for accomplishing administrative aims. But no Order shall in any way alter any of the existing laws.

Article 11.
The Emperor has the supreme command of the armed forces. The organization and peace standing of the armed forces shall be determined by law.

Article 12.
The Emperor declares war and makes peace, with the advice and approval of the Imperial Diet.
(2) As regards the provision of the preceding paragraph, in the case of emergency when the conditions at home and abroad allow no time for convocation of the Imperial Diet, prior consultation with the Diet Standing Committee as provided by law shall suffice. But in such a case, the action shall be laid before the Imperial Diet for approval at its next session.

Article 13.
The Emperor concludes various treaties, provided that in order to conclude treaties such as concern the matters that must be determined by law, or that may place a serious burden on the State Treasury, he shall obtain prior approval of the Imperial Diet.
(2) As regards the above provision, in case of emergency similar to that mentioned in Paragraph 2 of the preceding Article, the provision of the said Article shall apply.

Article 15.
The Emperor awards honors.

Article 20.
Japanese subjects are amenable to service, according to the provisions of the law.

Article 28.
Japanese subjects shall, within limits not prejudiced to peace and order, enjoy freedom of religious belief.

Article 31.
All rights and liberties of Japanese subjects, besides those mentioned in the preceding several Articles, shall not be impaired in all circumstances except by law.

Article 32. (Delete)

Article 33.
The Imperial Diet shall consist of two Houses, a House of Councillors and a House of Representatives.

Article 34.
The House of Councillors shall, in accordance with the provisions of the House of Councillors Law, be composed of members elected or appointed by the Emperor.

Article 39.2
A Bill which, after having been passed three times in succession of the House of Representatives by majority of more than two-thirds, is sent to the House of Councillors shall be considered as approved by the Imperial Diet regardless of whether or not it is adopted by the House of Councillors.

Article 42.
A session of the Imperial Diet shall last during a period, not less than three months, as is provided for by the Diet Law. In case of necessity the session may be prolonged by Imperial Order.

Article 43.
When urgent necessity arises, an extraordinary session may be convoked, in addition to the ordinary session.
(2) The duration of an extraordinary session shall be determined by Imperial Order.
(3) The members of both Houses may, with the concurrence of more than one-third of the total members of their respective Houses, may apply for convocation of an extraordinary session.

Article 44.
The opening, closing, prolongation of the Imperial Diet, shall be effected simultaneously by both Houses.
(2) In case the House of Representatives has been ordered to dissolve, the House of Councillors shall at the same time be closed.

Article 45.
When the House of Representatives has been ordered to dissolve, Members shall be caused by Imperial Order to be newly elected, and the Imperial Diet shall be convoked within three months from the day of dissolution.

Article 48.
The deliberations of both Houses shall be held in public. The deliberations may, however, by decision of the respective Houses, be held in secret sitting.

Article 53.
Members of both Houses shall, during the session, be free from arrest, unless with the consent of the House, except in cases of flagrant delicts, or of offenses connected with internal commotion or foreign trouble. Any member who has been arrested prior to the session shall upon demand of the House be released for the duration of the session.

Article 55.
The respective Ministers of State shall render assistance and advice to the Emperor, and be responsible to the Imperial Diet with respect to all affairs of the State.
(2) All laws, Imperial Ordinances and Imperial Rescripts relating to the affairs of the State require the countersignature of a Minister of State. The same provision shall apply to those relating to the Supreme Command of the armed forces.
(3) In case the House of Representatives has passed a vote of non-confidence against a Minister of State, he shall not remain in office except in the case the House has been dissolved.

Article 55.2
The Cabinet shall be composed of the Ministers of State.
(2) The organization of the Cabinet shall be determined by law.

Article 56.
The Privy Councillors shall deliberate upon important matters of State, when they have been consulted by the Emperor.
(2) The Organization of the Privy Council shall be determined by law.

Article 57.
The Judicature shall be exercised by the Courts of Law according to law, in the name of the Emperor.
(2) The organization of the Courts of Law shall be determined by law.
(3) All cases of administrative litigation shall be under the jurisdiction of the Courts of Law, as provided for separately by law.

Article 61. (Delete)

Article 65.
The Budget shall be first laid before the House of Representatives. A Budget passed by the House of Representatives shall not be amended by the House of Councillors for any increase thereof.

Article 66.
The expenditures of the Inner Court of the Imperial House shall be defrayed every year out of the National Treasury, according to a fixed amount for the same, and shall not require the consent thereto of the Imperial Diet, except in case an increase thereof is found necessary.

Article 67.
Such annual expenditures as may have arisen by the effect of the law, or that appertain to the legal obligation of the Government, shall be neither rejected nor reduced by the Imperial Diet, without the concurrence of the Government.

Article 69.
In order to supply deficiencies, which are unavoidable, in the Budget, and to meet requirements unprovided for in the same, a Reserve fund shall be provided for.
(2) In case disbursements are to be made outside the Budget in order to supply deficiencies, which are unavoidable, in the Budget, or to meet requirements unprovided for in the same, the provision of the preceding Paragraph shall apply.

Article 70.
In case of urgent need for the maintenance of public safety, the Government, when the Imperial Diet cannot be convoked owing to the external and internal condition of the country, may take all the necessary financial measures through an Imperial Ordinance, provided that the Diet Standing Committee shall be consulted in advance according to the provisions of the Diet Law.
(2) In the case mentioned in the preceding Paragraph, the matter shall be submitted to the Imperial Diet at its next session, and its approval thereon shall be obtained.

Article 71.
When the Imperial Diet has not voted on the Budget, or when the Budget has not been brought into actual existence, the Government shall compile a provisional Budget according to the provisions of the Account Law, and carry it out until the regular Budget is brought into existence.
(2) In the case mentioned in the preceding Paragraph, the Imperial Diet, if not in session, shall be speedily convoked, and the Provisional Budget shall be submitted to it for approval.

Article 73.
When it has become necessary to amend the provisions of the present Constitution, a project to that effect shall be submitted to the Imperial Diet by Imperial Order.
(2) Members of both Houses may with the concurrence of not less than one half of the total members of their respective Houses, propose deliberation on the project.
(3) In the case mentioned in the preceding two Paragraphs, neither House may open the debate, unless not less than two-thirds of the whole number of Members are present; and no amendment may be passed, unless a majority of not less than two-thirds of the Members present is obtained.
(4) The Emperor approves the amendments to the Constitution passed by the Imperial Diet, and orders the promulgation and enforcement thereof.

Article 75. (Delete)

Supplementary Rules
The Orders currently in force, which specify matters to be determined by law under the provision of the present Constitution, shall remain valid until they are repealed or revised.
(2) Of the present amendments to the Constitution, those under Articles 8, 12, 13, 33, 34, 39.2, 52, 54, 55.2, 56, 57, 61, 66, 69, 70, and 71, shall not come into effect until the necessary laws and order are promulgated and enforced and the provisions of the old laws shall meanwhile remain in force.