The people of Japan hereby enact this Constitution for all their present and future compatriots, to secure the long history of over two thousand years that their ancestors have built as the guise of their State, as well as those customs, spirit, and culture that allow Japan to equally grace its people with the blessings of a freedom which they shall eternally inherit.
Japan, through the great war over half a century ago, has seen its people suffer considerable calamities, and has itself inflicted vast calamities on the various peoples of the world. This is against the true intentions of Japan, and it goes without saying that it bears unbearable regret, along with its resolve to once again co-exist and mutually flourish with the peoples of the whole world, and to take a new step forward together with those peoples who love peace. Thus our forebears, with their considerable efforts and wisdom, as well as the generous judgment and acceptance of the various peoples, were able to once again accomplish a shining return to the world stage. However, the people of Japan have focused solely on winning back their glory on this world stage, and the truth of how they have lost their own independent national authority as well as the pride of their country and their people has been, during this half a century, unfelt or deliberately forgotten. However, we the people here correct this mistake; to retrieve such glory with the dreams and hopes, honor and pride of Japan and all its people, we have hereby taken up the amendment of our Constitution such that it holds a meaning different from that of half a century ago, aiming for the reorganization and the orderly construction of a new Japan, on the basis of coexistence and mutual flourishing with all humanity, while wishing for the achievement of eternal peace and prosperity. We hereby declare that we believe these tasks have been entrusted to us by the people of the past and the future; we thereby shoulder this responsibility and take pride in enacting it.
In the first place, the authority of national governance derives from the people, and is wielded in their strict trust by their representatives, while the benefits thereof are equally enjoyed by all the people. The people of Japan earnestly wish for the eternal peace of the world, and we shall maintain that peace, endeavoring to eternally eradicate despotism and servitude, oppression and intolerance from this earth; that the peoples of the whole world may equally be free from the calamity of conflict, as well as the fear and want produced thereof, confirming their right to live in peace; they desire that Japan shall actively contribute to these noble ideals and build a place of honor for itself in international society.
Hence, the fundamental rights that this Constitution guarantees to the people of Japan are the fruit of the many years over which humanity has labored to attain freedom; these rights have in the past endured numerous trials, and as such are entrusted to the people of the present and the future as eternal and inviolable. Based on these principles, they have attained this Constitution for themselves.
The people of Japan stake the honor of their country in swearing that they will use all their efforts to achieve these noble ideals and goals.
Chapter I. The Emperor
Article 1. (Status of the Emperor)
The Emperor shall be the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people, as well as the head of state representing Japan and the people of Japan; this position shall derive from the will of the people, and no person may violate its honor and dignity.3
The status of the Emperor as the head of state representing Japan and its people is added. This is simply making explicit the current situation and reality of Japan’s diplomacy; it does not give the Emperor any political power whatsoever, and does not indicate that they are a head of state that governs. Furthermore, “no person may violate its honor and dignity” is added to make explicit that the Emperor’s symbolism of Japan and the people of Japan is what secures and guarantees its honor and dignity.
The current Article 1 (in the Constitution of Japan) is titled “Status of the Emperor and Sovereignty Residing in the People”, but this issue (the sovereignty of the people) will be made explicit and re-formulated in Chapter 2 of this draft.
Article 2. (Imperial Dynasticism and Succession)
The Imperial Throne shall be dynastically succeeded to in accordance with the Imperial House Law.
Article 3. (Imperial Acts in Matters of State and Responsibility of Cabinet)
The assistance and counsel of the Cabinet shall be required for all acts of the Emperor in matters of state, and the Cabinet shall be responsible therefor.4
With regard to the Emperor’s acts in matters of state, “advice and approval” in the current Article 3 has been changed to the traditional “assistance and counsel”, which we have determined more accurately expresses these actions in relation to the Emperor’s acts in matters of state.
Article 4. (Limits on Imperial Power, Delegation of Acts in Matters of State)5
The Emperor shall perform such acts as symbol and the head of state as are provided for in this Constitution and they shall not have powers of execution related to government.
(2) The Emperor may delegate the performance of their acts in matters of state as may be provided by law.
The Emperor’s acts in matters of state as the symbol of Japan and its people, as well as head of state, are made explicit by the addition of the latter term.
Article 5. (Regency)
When, in accordance with the Imperial House Law, a Regency is established, the Regent shall perform his acts in matters of state in the Emperor's name. In this case, paragraph one of the preceding article will be applicable.
Article 6. (Appointment Powers of the Emperor)6
The Emperor shall appoint the Prime Minister as designated by the Diet.
(2) The Emperor shall appoint the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court as designated by the Cabinet.
Article 7. (Imperial Acts of State and Powers)7
The Emperor, with the assistance and counsel of the Cabinet, shall perform the following acts on behalf of the people:
1. Constitutional amendment and promulgation of laws, ordinances and treaties.
2. Convoking the Diet and issuing of imperial edict therefor.
3. Dissolving the House of Representatives and issuing of imperial edict therefor.
4. Approving the dissolution of the Cabinet and issuing of imperial edict therefor.
5. Proclamation of the election of members of the Diet.
6. Attestation of the appointment and dismissal of Ministers of State and other officials, and of full powers and credentials of Ambassadors and Ministers.
7. Attestation of general and special amnesty, commutation of punishment, reprieve, and restoration of rights.
8. Awarding of honors.
9. Attestation of instruments of ratification and other diplomatic documents as provided for by law.
10. Receiving foreign ambassadors and ministers.
11. Performing ceremonial functions, and attending rituals and ceremonies.
12. Approving and promulgating emergency legal measures taken to avoid a disaster for the maintenance of public order and the safety of the people in the event of the declaration of a state of emergency or a large-scale natural disaster, where so resolved by the Diet.
13. Approving the dispatch of the Self-Defense Army.
14. Approving and promulgating a declaration of a state of emergency issued by the Prime Minister.
15. Approving the appointment and dismissal of the following personnel designated by the Cabinet: the Chief of Staff for the Joint Staff of the Self-Defense Army, the Chiefs of Staff for the Ground, Maritime and Air Self-Defense Armies respectively, as well as the Generals and Major-Generals of the Ground, Maritime and Air Self-Defense Armies designated by the Minister of Defense.8
16. Conferring the regimental standards of the Ground and Maritime Self-Defense Armies respectively; conferring the national flag to Self-Defense Army troops dispatched for overseas assistance and cooperation, as provided for by law.
17. Performance of ritual in the Imperial House.
18. Approving and promulgating changes in era names as resolved by the Cabinet.
[Summarized for concision] Other than a listing of the new items added to expand the Emperor's scope of acts in matters of state, the authors state explicitly that items 15 and 16 have been added with the objective of adding to the status of the Self-Defense Army.
Chapter II. Sovereignty of the People
Article 8. (Sovereignty of the People)
The sovereignty of Japan resides in all its people.
Article 9. (Wielding of Sovereignty)
The people shall wield their sovereignty through fairly elected representatives in the Diet, as well as through national referendums as provided for by law.
This establishes a new chapter on the sovereignty of the people. Article 9 stipulates the addition of national referendums as a direct mechanism for them to wield their sovereignty.
Chapter III. Defense
Article 10. (Renouncement of Wars of Aggression and Possession of Self-Defense Army)
(1) Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, 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.
(2) Japan shall establish and possess a Self-Defense Army for the purposes of protecting the peace and independence of Japan, as well as its land, lives and property of its people; the maintenance and securing of safety; the defense of our country from direct and indirect aggression, and the maintenance of public order as necessary.
Article 11. (Power of Supreme Command of the Self-Defense Army)
The supreme command of the Self-Defense Army shall reside with the Prime Minister, as a representative of the Cabinet and a civilian as fixed in law.
This stipulation is the same as that of the current law governing the Self-Defense Forces.9
Article 12. (Dispatching of Self-Defense Army)
The Prime Minister may order the dispatch of the whole or part of the Self-Defense Army, with the authorization of the Diet (if the House of Representatives is dissolved, the House of Councillors may be convened by emergency meeting to give this authorization) and the approval of the Emperor, in case it is determined that this is necessary for the defense of our country in facing direct or indirect aggression, or the risk therefor.
(2) As elsewhere provided for in law, where determined is necessary, the Prime Minister may order the dispatch of the whole or part of the Self-Defense Army, and the Defense Minister may order the whole or part of the Self-Defense Army to be in standby for dispatch.
(3) The conditions of requesting a dispatch shall be fixed in law.
This stipulation is the same as in the current Self-Defense Forces law concerning the dispatch of the armed forces.
Article 13. (Protection of Defense Secrets)
All people shall cooperate in protecting the peace and independence of Japan, as well as the land, lives and property of its people, the maintenance and securing of its safety, and the maintenance of its public order; no person shall seek to obtain, assemble or destroy any knowledge, documents, plans or materials related to defense secrets that, if disclosed, would cause grave damage to the safety and interest of the State and its allied countries, or where such risk is prevalent as fixed in law or ordinance.
(2) Moreover, the government, related public agencies, and staff members thereof in possession or preservation of the defense secrets in the preceding paragraph shall bear the obligation to prevent their disclosure.
This stipulates the protection of defense secrets to discourage counterintelligence amongst the people, prohibit external spying, and impose an obligation of secrecy amongst public officials involved with defense secrets.
Article 14. (Conscription of Self-Defense Army Staff and Obligation of National Defense)
The conscription of the personnel who shall staff the Self-Defense Army from the people shall be considered the national obligation of a democratic country. However, the system of conscription of personnel may be limited or lifted by law.
The Nippon Public Advanced Party opines that Self-Defense Army officers need not be conscripted in times of peace and have so stipulated a law that allows for the non-imposition of conscription.
Article 15. (Participation in International Activities)
Japan may dispatch its public officials to participate in clearly defined activities conducted by international organs with which it has concluded alliances or treaties; it may also provide and dispatch part of its Self-Defense Army, by Diet resolution, to participate in activities for the maintenance and promotion of international peace and humane assistance.
This makes explicit the overseas dispatch of Self-Defense Army troops and public officials (including civilian police officers) to the PKO, PKF and international emergency assistance forces.
Chapter IV. Rights and Duties of the People
Article 16. (Conditions of Nationality)
The conditions necessary for being a Japanese national shall be determined by law.
Article 17. (Fundamental Human Rights)
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 18. (Obligation to Protect Freedom and Rights; Public Welfare)
The freedoms and rights guaranteed to the people by this Constitution shall be maintained by the constant endeavor of the people, who shall always bear the obligation to respect the freedom and rights of one another, to maintain the security of the State and public order, to refrain from any abuse of these freedoms and rights and to utilize them with responsibility for the public welfare.
By adding clauses on national security and public order, the consensus around public welfare during emergencies is strengthened.
Article 19. (Dignity of the Individual)10
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, the security of the State, and the maintenance of public order, be given the highest possible consideration in legislation and in other governmental affairs.
By adding clauses on national security and public order, the consensus around public welfare is strengthened.
Article 20. (Principle of Equality, Renunciation of Aristocracy, Limits on Honors)
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 21. (Freedom of Thought and Conscience)
Freedom of thought and conscience shall not be violated.
Article 22. (Freedom of Religion and Prohibition on Political Participation of Religious Organizations)11
(1) Freedom of religion is guaranteed to all.
(2) No religious organization shall receive any privileges from the State, nor exercise any political authority.
Article 23. (Freedom of Assembly and Association)
Freedom of assembly and association are guaranteed. However, in case it is necessary to maintain the security of the State and public order, or to protect the lives, bodies and property of the people, restrictions or prohibitions may be imposed on the freedom of association within the bounds of law.
This stipulates the limitation of rights for the management of emergencies, to prevent interference and danger resulting from free association during emergency periods.
Article 24. (Freedom of Expression)
Freedom of speech, press and all other forms of expression are guaranteed. However, in case it is necessary to maintain the security of the State and public order, or to protect the lives, bodies and property of the people, restrictions or prohibitions may be imposed on the freedom of speech, press and all other forms of expression within the bounds of law.
(2) No censorship shall be maintained at all times.13
Necessary cases include reporting restrictions in case of kidnapping or other criminal acts, or during states of emergency, to prevent the disclosure of defense information and secrets; unrelated reporting shall not be restricted, and general censorship is prohibited under paragraph 2.
Article 25. (Secrecy of Communication)
The secrecy of all means of communication shall not be violated. However, in case it is necessary to maintain the security of the State and public order, or to protect to lives, bodies and property of the people, restrictions or prohibitions may be imposed within the bounds of law.
As with the preceding articles, the additional parts are to facilitate the management of emergencies. This excludes the interception of communication in criminal countermeasures or for defense purposes in cases of national defense.
Article 26. (Freedom of Residence, Moving, Divesting of Nationality)
(1) Every person shall have freedom to choose and change their residence to the extent that it does not interfere with the public welfare. However, in case it is necessary to maintain the security of the State and public order, or to protect to lives, bodies and property of the people, restrictions or prohibitions on the freedom to choose and change residence may be imposed within the bounds of law.
(2) As a proviso to the preceding paragraph, where the freedom to choose and change residence is restricted or prohibited, the State must issue appropriate compensation to the people when they suffer damages therefor.
(3) Freedom of all the people to move to a foreign country and to divest themselves of their nationality shall be inviolate.
Concerning paragraph 2, scenarios include forced removal, land expropriation, and other cases during emergencies.
Article 27. (Academic Freedom)
Academic freedom is guaranteed.
Article 28. (Individual Dignity in Family Relations and Equality of Both Sexes)
(1) 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 29. (Right to Live, Obligation to Endeavor for Progress and Improvement of Livelihood)
(1) 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 30. (Right and Responsibility to Enjoy Good Environment)
All people shall have the right to enjoy a good environment. Moreover, they shall bear the responsibility of respecting the rights of one another to enjoy a good environment, and to endeavor to preserve this environment.
(2) The State shall guarantee the right of the people to enjoy a good environment, and endeavor to preserve a good environment.
Article 31. (Right to Secrecy and Non-interference in Private Affairs)
Every person, to the extent that it does not contravene the public welfare, shall have the right to conceal from other individuals and society their individual private life and all information thereby, as well as private matters in their family, and to be free of interference therein.
Article 32. (Right and Obligation to Receive Education)
(1) 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, and in order to guarantee the right of the people to receive an education, the State shall guarantee all necessary financial assistance therefor.14
The additional clause in this article aims to equalize opportunities for education by making possible scholarships, free assistance for school fees and the furtherance of private education.
Article 33. (Right and Obligation to Employment)
(1) 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 34. (Freedom to Choose Occupation)
All of the people shall have the freedom to choose their occupation.
This clause from Article 22 of the current Constitution is here stipulated as an independent article.
Article 35. (Right of Workers to Organize and Take Collective Action)
The right of workers to organize and to bargain and act collectively is guaranteed.
Article 36. (The Right to Own or Hold Property)
(1) The right to own or to hold property is inviolable. However, in case it is necessary to maintain the security of the State and public order, or to protect the lives, bodies and property of the people, restrictions or prohibitions on property rights may be imposed within the bounds of law.
(2) Where property rights are restricted or prohibited according to the preceding paragraph, the State must issue appropriate compensation to the people when they suffer damages therefor
(3) Property rights shall be defined by law, in conformity with the public welfare.
(4) Private property may be taken for public use upon just compensation therefor.
This enables the order of forced removals and land expropriation and other cases during emergencies, with a proviso for compensation in damages that result from such cases; this may also be considered a means of restricting or stopping domestic resources from being transferred overseas.
Article 37. (Taxpaying Obligation)
The people shall be liable to taxation as provided by law.
Article 38. (Guarantee of Life and Freedom, Restrictions on Criminal Punishment)
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 39. (Right of Access to the Courts)
No person shall be denied the right of access to the courts.
Article 40. (Restrictions on Apprehension)
No person shall be apprehended except upon warrant issued by a competent judge which specifies the offense with which the person is charged, unless they are apprehended, the offense being committed.
“Judicial officer” in Article 33 of the current Constitution has been changed to “judge” for ease of understanding.
Article 41. (Restrictions on Detention and Detainment)
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 42. (Restrictions on Residence Intrusion, Searches, and Seizures)
(1) 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 40.
(2) Each search or seizure shall be made upon separate warrant issued by a competent judge.
“Judicial officer” in Article 35 of the current Constitution has been changed to “judge” for ease of understanding.
Article 43. (Prohibition on Torture and Cruel Punishments)
The infliction of torture by any public officer and cruel punishments are absolutely forbidden.
Article 44. (Prohibition on Bondage and Involuntary Servitude)
No person shall be held in bondage of any kind. Involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime, is prohibited.
Article 45. (Rights of Defendants in Criminal Cases)
In all criminal cases the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial tribunal.
(2) They shall be permitted full opportunity to examine all witnesses, and they shall have the right of compulsory process for obtaining witnesses on their 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 their own efforts, be assigned to their use by the State.
Article 46. (Prohibition on Forced Confession and Evidentiary Limits of Forced Confession)
No person shall be compelled to testify against themself.
(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 them is their own confession.
Article 47. (Prohibition on Ex Post Facto Punishment and Double Jeopardy)
No person shall be held criminally liable for an act which was lawful at the time it was committed, or of which they has been acquitted, nor shall they be placed in double jeopardy.
Article 48. (Right to Demand Criminal Compensation)
Any person, in case they are acquitted after they have been arrested or detained, may sue the State for redress as provided by law.
Article 49. (Rights of Crime Victims)
Victims of criminal acts who have suffered damage to their livelihood or their mental and physical well-being, or their bereaved relatives, may claim appropriate compensation from the State as provided for by law.
(2) Victims of criminal acts who have suffered damage to their livelihood or their mental and physical well-being, or their bereaved relatives, may receive adequate explanation from the relevant organs concerning the handling and result of the criminal case concerned, as well as the proceedings of the trial, and express their opinions therefor.
The addition of this new right allows victims of criminal acts to be compensated by the State, receive explanations from the police and prosecution, and express their opinions during trials.
Article 50. (Right to Choose and Dismiss Public Officials, Essence of Public Officials, Universal Suffrage and Secrecy of the Vote)15
The people have the inalienable right to choose their public officials and to dismiss them.
(2) All of the people shall be qualified to become public officials according to their abilities.
(3) All public officials are servants of the whole community and not of any group thereof; they shall faithfully serve their duties to the people.
(4) Universal suffrage for the people aged eighteen (18) and above is guaranteed with regard to the election of public officials.
(5) In all elections, secrecy of the ballot shall not be violated. A voter shall not be answerable, publicly or privately, for the choice they have made.
The addition to paragraph 2 guarantees the equal opportunity for all the people to become public officials, in tandem with the article on nationality that clarifies the condition of the qualification to be a public official; this article is similar to the current Article 15 in proscribing the selection of public officials and members of the Diet as the inalienable right of the people; it goes without saying that this right may not be unconstitutionally extended to permanent residents and foreigners.
Article 51. (Right to Petition)
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 52. (Compensation for Illegal Acts of Public Officials)
Every person may sue for redress as provided by law from the State or a public entity, in case they have suffered damage through illegal act of any public official.
Article 53. (Right to Request Access to Administrative Information)
All of the people, to the extent that the peace and independence of Japan as well as the maintenance of security and public welfare is not contravened, may request the disclosure of information relating to the administration of the State, the regional public bodies and the special regional public entities as provided for by law.
Chapter V. The Diet
Article 54. (Status of the Diet)
The Diet shall be the highest organ of state power, and shall be the sole law-making organ of the State.
Article 55. (Bicameralism)
The Diet shall consist of two Houses, namely the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors.
Article 56. (Organization of Both Houses)
Both Houses shall consist of elected members, representative of all the people.
(2) The number of the members of each House shall be fixed by law.
Article 57. (Qualifications of Members and Electors)
The qualifications of members of both Houses and their electors shall be fixed by law. However, there shall be no discrimination because of race, creed, sex, social status, family origin, education, property or income.
Article 58. (Term of Office for Members of the House of Representatives)
The term of office of members of the House of Representatives shall be four years. However, the term shall be terminated before the full term is up in case the House of Representatives is dissolved.
Article 59. (Term of Office for Members of the House of Councillors)
The term of office of members of the House of Councillors shall be six years, and election for half the members shall take place every three years.
Article 60. (Election of Members)
Electoral districts, method of voting and other matters pertaining to the method of election of members of both Houses shall be fixed by law.
Article 61. (Prohibition on Simultaneous Appointment in Both Houses)
No person shall be permitted to be a member of both Houses simultaneously.
Article 62. (Political Parties)
Members of the Diet and the people may freely form political parties in the Diet for the purpose of unifying the formation of political intention, ideological assertion and policy amongst the people. Political parties may perform acts in the Diet as fixed in law.
(2) Political parties in the Diet shall be so called in reference to political entities that fulfil conditions fixed in law.
Article 63. (Remuneration of Members)
Members of both Houses shall receive appropriate annual payment from the national treasury in accordance with law.
Article 64. (Immunity of Members from Arrest)
Except in cases provided by law, members of both Houses shall be exempt from apprehension while the Diet is in session, and any members apprehended before the opening of the session shall be freed during the term of the session upon demand of the House.
Article 65. (Non-Liability of Members for Statements and Voting)
Members of both Houses shall not be held liable outside the House for speeches, debates or votes cast inside the House.
Article 66. (Ordinary Sessions)
An ordinary session of the Diet shall be convoked once per year.
Article 67. (Extraordinary Sessions)
The Cabinet may determine to convoke extraordinary sessions of the Diet. When a quarter or more of the total members of either House makes the demand, the Cabinet must determine on such convocation.
Article 68. (General Elections, Special Sessions, Emergency Meetings)
When the House of Representatives is dissolved, there must be a general election of members of the House of Representatives within forty (40) days from the date of dissolution, and the Diet must be convoked within thirty (30) days from the date of the election.
(2) When the House of Representatives is dissolved, the House of Councillors is closed at the same time. However, the Cabinet may in time of national emergency convoke the House of Councillors in emergency session.
(3) Measures taken at such session as mentioned in the proviso of the preceding paragraph shall be provisional and shall become null and void unless agreed to by the House of Representatives within a period of ten (10) days after the opening of the next session of the Diet.
Article 69. (Qualification Disputes)
Each House shall judge disputes related to qualifications of its members. However, in order to deny a seat to any member, it is necessary to pass a resolution by a majority of two-thirds or more of the members present.
Article 70. (Fixed Number of Members for Proceedings; Supermajority Resolution)
Business cannot be transacted in either House unless one-third or more of total membership is present.
(2) All matters shall be decided, in each House, by a majority of those present, except as elsewhere provided in the Constitution, and in case of a tie, the presiding officer shall decide the issue.
Article 71. (Public Access to Proceedings and Records of Proceedings)
Deliberation in each House shall be public. However, a secret meeting may be held where a majority of two-thirds or more of those members present passes a resolution therefor.
(2) Each House shall keep a record of proceedings. This record shall be published and given general circulation, excepting such parts of proceedings of secret session as may be deemed to require secrecy.
(3) Upon demand of one-fifth or more of the members present, votes of members on any matter shall be recorded in the minutes.
Article 72. (Selection and Appointment of Chief Officers, Self-Governance Right of Members)
Each House shall select its own president and other officials.
(2) Each House shall establish its rules pertaining to meetings, proceedings and internal discipline, and may punish members for disorderly conduct. However, in order to expel a member, a majority of three-fifths or more of those members present must pass a resolution thereon.
The current Article 58 stipulates two-thirds or more of members present to pass a resolution (320 out of the current fixed number of 480 members in the House of Representatives, and 168 out of the 252 members in the House of Councillors); under the three-fifths provision here this changes to 288 out of the current fixed number of 480 members in the House of Representatives, and 152 out of the 252 members in the House of Councillors, and so makes it easier to effectively punish wayward members.
Article 73. (Passage of Laws, Priority of House of Representatives)
A bill becomes a law on passage by both Houses, except as otherwise provided by the Constitution.
(2) A bill which is passed by the House of Representatives, and upon which the House of Councillors makes a decision different from that of the House of Representatives, becomes a law when passed a second time by the House of Representatives by a majority of three-fifths or more of the members present.
(3) The provision of the preceding paragraph does not preclude the House of Representatives from calling for the meeting of a joint committee of both Houses, provided for by law.
(4) Failure by the House of Councillors to take final action within sixty (60) days after receipt of a bill passed by the House of Representatives, time in recess excepted, may be determined by the House of Representatives to constitute a rejection of the said bill by the House of Councillors.
The lowering of the proportion of members required to pass a law in the second paragraph is intended to speed up the passage of laws.
Article 74. (Right of House of Representatives for Prior Voting on Budget, Budget Resolution)16
The budget bill must first be submitted to the House of Representatives.
(2) Upon consideration of the budget bill, when the House of Councillors makes a decision different from that of the House of Representatives, and when no agreement can be reached even through a joint committee of both Houses, provided for by law, or in the case of failure by the House of Councillors to take final action within thirty (30) days, the period of recess excluded, after the receipt of the budget bill passed by the House of Representatives, the decision of the House of Representatives shall be the decision of the Diet.
Article 75. (Approval of Conclusion of Treaties)
The second paragraph of the preceding article applies also to the Diet approval required for the conclusion of treaties.
Article 76. (Right of Members to Investigate Government)
Each House may conduct investigations in relation to government, and may demand the presence and testimony of witnesses, and the production of records.
Article 77. (Attendance of Ministers of State)
The Prime Minister and other Ministers of State may, at any time, appear in either House for the purpose of speaking on bills, regardless of whether they are members of the House or not. They must appear when their presence is required in order to give answers or explanations.
Article 78. (Impeachment Courts)
The Diet shall set up an impeachment court from among the members of both Houses for the purpose of trying those judges against whom removal proceedings have been instituted.
(2) A committee composed of members of both Houses shall be established for the removal proceedings in the preceding paragraph.
(3) Matters relating to impeachment shall be provided by law.
Chapter VI. The Cabinet
Article 79. (Executive Power)
Executive power shall be vested in the Cabinet.
Article 80. (Organization and Responsibilities of Cabinet)17
The Cabinet shall consist of the Prime Minister, who shall be its head, and other Ministers of State, as provided for by law.
(2) The Prime Minister shall preside over the Cabinet and the Ministers of State.
(3) The Prime Minister and other Ministers of State must be civilians as fixed in law.
(4) The Cabinet, in the exercise of executive power, shall be collectively responsible to the Diet.
Article 81. (Designation of the Prime Minister)
The Prime Minister shall be designated from among the members of the Diet by a resolution of the Diet. This designation shall precede all other business.
(2) If the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors disagree and if no agreement can be reached even through a joint committee of both Houses, provided for by law, or the House of Councillors fails to make designation within ten (10) days, exclusive of the period of recess, after the House of Representatives has made designation, the decision of the House of Representatives shall be the decision of the Diet.
Article 82. (Appointment and Dismissal of Ministers of State)
The Prime Minister shall appoint the Ministers of State. However, a majority of their number must be chosen from among the members of the Diet.
(2) The Prime Minister may remove the Ministers of State as they choose.
Article 83. (Non-Confidence Resolution, Dissolution, Resignation En Masse)18
The Cabinet may dissolve the House of Representatives within ten (10) days if the House of Representatives passes a non-confidence resolution, or rejects a confidence resolution.
(2) According to the stipulation in the preceding paragraph, the Cabinet shall resign en masse unless it dissolves the House of Representatives.
Article 84. (Defects of the Prime Minister and Resignation En Masse Through General Election)
When there is a vacancy in the post of Prime Minister, or upon the first convocation of the Diet after a general election of members of the House of Representatives, the Cabinet shall resign en masse.
Article 85. (Temporary Deputy of the Prime Minister)
When the Prime Minister is incapacitated or there is a vacancy in the post of Prime Minister, a Minister of State shall serve as a temporary deputy who fulfills the functions of the Prime Minister until the appointment of a new Prime Minister.
(2) The Minister of State who is the temporary deputy for the Prime Minister shall be designated in advance by the Prime Minister.
(3) The Minister of State who is the temporary deputy for the Prime Minister may if necessary take over the whole or part of the functions of the Prime Minister when the Prime Minister is overseas or on long-distance travel, or in any situation where the direct fulfillment of their functions is difficult or impossible.
The stipulation of this new article is to prevent secret selection of the Prime Minister’s deputy and heir, and also preserves the crisis control capacity of the Cabinet when the Prime Minister is overseas or otherwise absent.
Article 86. (Continuation of Functions Following Resignation En Masse)
In the cases mentioned in the two preceding articles, the Cabinet shall continue its functions until the time when a new Prime Minister is appointed.
Article 87. (Limits of Powers of Prime Minister)
The Prime Minister, representing the Cabinet, submits bills, reports on general national affairs and foreign relations to the Diet and exercises control and supervision over various administrative branches.
Article 88. (Limits of Powers of Cabinet)
The Cabinet, in addition to other general administrative functions, shall perform the following functions:
1. Administer the law faithfully; conduct affairs of state.
2. Manage foreign affairs.
3. Conclude treaties. However, it shall obtain prior or, depending on circumstances, subsequent approval of the Diet.
4. Administer public officials, in accordance with standards established by law.19
5. Prepare the budget, and present it to the Diet.
6. Enact cabinet orders in order to execute the provisions of this Constitution and of the law. However, it cannot include penal provisions in such cabinet orders unless authorized by such law.
7. Decide on general amnesty, special amnesty, commutation of punishment, reprieve, and restoration of rights.
Article 89. (Signature and Countersignature of Laws and Ordinances)
All laws and cabinet orders shall be signed by the competent Minister of State and countersigned by the Prime Minister.
Article 90. (Restrictions on Legal Action Against Ministers of State)
The Ministers of State, during their tenure of office, shall not be subject to legal action without the consent of the Prime Minister. However, the right to take that action is not impaired hereby.
Article 91. (Declaration of State of Emergency)
The Prime Minister may declare a state of emergency to the people in the following cases: a direct or indirect invasion, or the threat thereof; during a large-scale panic and disaster; when the lives, bodies or property of the people are infringed, or risk being infringed, and it is necessary to maintain public order.
(2) The Prime Minister may issue directions and orders determined to be necessary under the declaration of the state of emergency to the organs of the State, the local governing bodies, and other organs of the Executive.
(3) During the declaration of a state of emergency, in case of special need to maintain public order, the whole or part of the Self-Defense Army may be dispatched to designated regions as a national security measure, and enabled to conduct security activities as fixed in law.
(4) The Self-Defense Army dispatched by the declaration of a state of emergency shall be under the supervision and command of the Prime Minister, who shall establish an emergency headquarters to oversee all police and firefighting operations in the whole country or in designated regions as provided for by law.
Article 92. (Diet Approval of Declaration of State of Emergency)
Based on paragraph three of the preceding article, the Prime Minister must seek the approval of the Diet within twenty (20) days of declaring a state of emergency, and in case of dispatching the whole or part of the Self-Defense Army to the whole country or to designated regions.
(2) For the approval of dispatch in the preceding paragraph, if the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors disagree and if no agreement can be reached even through a joint committee of both Houses, provided for by law, or the House of Councillors fails to make designation within twenty (20) days, after the House of Representatives has resolved, the decision of the House of Representatives shall be the decision of the Diet.20
(3) When the House of Representatives is dissolved, the decision of the House of Councillors by emergency meeting shall be the formal decision of the Diet.
(4) Concerning the approval of dispatch, the Prime Minister shall speedily lift the declaration of a state of emergency and immediately recall the Self-Defense Army if there is a non-approval decision from the Diet, or when the need for dispatch or a declaration of a state of emergency has passed.
Article 93. (Initiation of Emergency Measures Bill for Laws in States of Emergency)
During a declaration of a state of emergency during a large-scale disaster or crisis, in case the present law is ineffective or insufficient, and if it determined necessary for maintaining the safety of the people and public order, as well as to avert calamity, the Prime Minister may initiate the enactment of an emergency measures bill for an urgent and temporary law or order to the Diet.
Article 94. (Diet Approval of Emergency Measures Bill for Laws in States of Emergency)
The Diet, based on the preceding article, must decide on the emergency measures bill initiated by the Prime Minister before all other business except the designation of a Prime Minister.
(2) For the decision on the emergency measures bill in the preceding paragraph, if the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors disagree and if no agreement can be reached even through a joint committee of both Houses, provided for by law, or the House of Councillors fails to make designation within seven days, after the House of Representatives has resolved, the decision of the House of Representatives shall be the decision of the Diet.
(3) When the House of Representatives is dissolved, the decision of the House of Councillors by emergency meeting shall be the formal decision of the Diet.
(4) Concerning the emergency measures bill approved by the Diet, the Prime Minister shall immediately establish the emergency measures law for the people, and speedily nullify the emergency measures law when the need for it has passed.
Article 95. (Emergency Restrictions on Rights)
In case of a declaration of a state of emergency, the Prime Minister may restrict or prohibit the rights fixed in this Constitution on bodies, communications, assemblies, speech, the freedom to choose and change residence, and property rights, within the boundaries fixed by law, when doing so is an unavoidable necessity for protecting the lives, bodies and property of the people.
(2) In case the Prime Minister conducts the measures in the preceding paragraph, they must respect the fundamental human rights guaranteed to the people by this Constitution.
(3) When the need for the measures in the first paragraph has passed, and the Diet has resolved that such measures are no longer necessary, the Prime Minister must speedily nullify those measures.
Chapter VII. Judiciary
Article 96. (Organs of Judicial Power and Independence of Functions of Judges)21
The whole judicial power is vested in a Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as are established by law.
(2) Trials fixed in law concerning defense secrets and the Self-Defense Army shall be vested in the exclusive jurisdiction of a Defense Court established as provided for by law. The Defense Court shall have the status of an inferior court and final judicial power shall be vested in the Supreme Court
(3) The judges, prosecutors, lawyers and other personnel working on trials fixed in law concerning defense secrets and the Self-Defense Army conducted by the Defense Court and the Supreme Court which holds final judicial power must all be exclusively appointed therefor.
(4) No extraordinary tribunal shall be established, nor shall any organ or agency of the Executive be given final judicial power.
(5) All judges shall be independent in the exercise of their conscience and shall be bound only by this Constitution and the laws.
Making the Defense Court an inferior court prevents it from having priority or independence or conducting secret trials. Making all personnel involved in defense trials exclusively appointed for this purpose protects defense secrets. Lawyers should be appointed by the State or from a new rank of military lawyer established within the Self-Defense Army for this purpose.
Article 97. (Rule-Making Power of Supreme Court)
The Supreme Court is vested with the rule-making power under which it determines the rules of procedure and of practice, and of matters relating to attorneys, the internal discipline of the courts and the administration of judicial affairs.
(2) Public procurators shall be subject to the rule-making power of the Supreme Court.
(3) The Supreme Court may delegate the power to make rules for inferior courts and the Defense Court to such courts.
Article 98. (Guarantee of Status of Judges)
Judges shall not be removed except by public impeachment unless judicially declared mentally or physically incompetent to perform official duties. No disciplinary action against judges shall be administered by any executive organ or agency.
Article 99. (Structure of Supreme Court and Examination by the People on Judicial Appointments)
The Supreme Court shall consist of a Chief Judge and such number of judges as may be determined by law; all such judges excepting the Chief Judge shall be appointed by the Cabinet.
(2) The appointment of the judges of the Supreme Court shall be reviewed by the people at the first general election of members of the House of Representatives or an ordinary election of members of the House of Councillors following their appointment, and shall be reviewed again by the people at the first general election of members of the House of Councillors after a lapse of three years, and in the same manner thereafter.22
(3) In cases mentioned in the foregoing paragraph, when the majority of the voters favors the dismissal of a judge, he shall be dismissed.
(4) Matters pertaining to review shall be prescribed by law.
(5) The judges of the Supreme Court shall be retired upon the attainment of the age as fixed by law.
(6) All such judges shall receive, at regular stated intervals, adequate compensation which shall not be decreased during their terms of office.
Article 100. (Inferior Courts and Judges of Defense Court)
The judges of the inferior courts and the Defense Court shall be appointed by the Cabinet from a list of persons nominated by the Supreme Court. All such judges shall hold office for a term of ten (10) years with privilege of reappointment, provided that they shall be retired upon the attainment of the age as fixed by law.
(2) The judges of the inferior courts shall receive, at regular stated intervals, adequate compensation which shall not be decreased during their terms of office.
The judges of the Defense Court shall have no special examinations or qualifications distinct from the judges of the regular inferior courts; they shall be appointed from those who pass the national bar examination and exclusively serve in the Defense Court.
Article 101. (Obligation of Secrecy in Trials Concerning Defense Secrets)
The judges, prosecutors, lawyers and other personnel working on trials fixed in law concerning defense secrets and the Self-Defense Army conducted by the Defense Court and the Supreme Court which holds final judicial power may not make public the defense secrets they obtain in their function, regardless of whether they are currently holding office or are retired.
Article 102. (Right of Supreme Court to Investigate Constitutionality of Legislation)
The Supreme Court is the court of last resort with power to determine the constitutionality of any law, order, regulation or official act.
Article 103. (Public Access to Trials and Judgments)
Trials shall be conducted and judgment declared publicly. However, trials fixed in law concerning defense secrets, and their judgements, may be in part or whole kept from the public where it is determined that doing so is necessary to maintain the safety of the State and public order.23
Chapter VIII. Finance
Article 104. (Management of Finance)24
The power to soundly administer national finances shall be exercised as the Diet shall determine.
Article 105. (Taxation)
No new taxes shall be imposed or existing ones modified except by law or under such conditions as law may prescribe.
Article 106. (National Expenditure and Debt Burden)
No money shall be expended, nor shall the State obligate itself, except as authorized by the Diet.
Article 107. (Making of Budget)
The Cabinet shall prepare and submit to the Diet for its consideration and decision a budget for each fiscal year.
Article 108. (Reserve Fund)
In order to provide for unforeseen deficiencies in the budget, a reserve fund may be authorized by the Diet to be expended upon the responsibility of the Cabinet.
Article 109. (Imperial Household Property and Expenditure)
All property of the Imperial Household shall belong to the State. All expenses of the Imperial Household shall be appropriated by the Diet in the budget.
Article 110. (Restrictions on Use of Public Property)25
No public money or other property shall be expended or appropriated for the use, benefit or maintenance of any religious institution or association, or for any charitable, educational or benevolent enterprises not under the control of public authority.
(2) Regardless of the preceding paragraph, the expenditure of public money and other property may not be restricted towards certified private educational enterprises as necessary economic assistance in order to guarantee the right to education of the people as stipulated in paragraph two of Article 33 [sic]. Certification and expenditure in these cases will be fixed in law.26
Article 111. (Accounting Audit)
Final accounts of the expenditures and revenues of the State shall be audited annually by a Board of Audit and submitted by the Cabinet to the Diet, together with the statement of audit, during the fiscal year immediately following the period covered.
(2) The organization and competency of the Board of Audit shall be determined by law.
Article 112. (Report on Financial Situation)
At regular intervals and at least annually the Cabinet shall report to the Diet and the people on the state of national finances.
Chapter IX. Local Self-Government
Article 113. (Securing the Essence of Local Self-Government)
Regulations concerning organization and operations of local governing bodies shall be fixed by law in accordance with the principle of local autonomy.
Article 114. (Councils and Chairs of Local Governing Bodies, Election of Members, Etc.)
The local governing bodies shall establish assemblies as their deliberative organs, in accordance with law.
(2) The chief executive officers of all local governing bodies, the members of their assemblies, and such other local public officials as may be determined by law shall be elected by direct popular vote within their several communities.
Article 115. (Power of Local Governing Bodies)
Local governing bodies shall have the right to manage their property, affairs and administration and to enact their own regulations within law.
Article 116. (Special Law Only Applicable to Particular Local Governing Bodies)
A special law, applicable only to a specific local governing body, cannot be enacted by the Diet without the consent of the majority of the voters of the local governing bodies concerned, obtained in accordance with law.
Articles 113-116 are the same as Articles 92-95 in the current Constitution, but they have replaced “local public entities” with “local governing bodies”, as the former comprises both “local governing bodies” and “special regional public entities”, which the latter consolidates into a single category.
Chapter X. Supreme Law
Article 117. (Supremacy of Constitution and Observance of International Treaties)
This Constitution shall be the supreme law of the nation and no law, ordinance, imperial rescript or other act of government, or part thereof, contrary to the provisions hereof, shall have legal force or validity.
Chapter XI. Supplementary Provisions
Article 118. (Date of and Preparation for Establishment)
This Constitution shall be established six months from the date of its promulgation.
Article 119. (Non-Validity of Prior Constitution)
The prior Constitution shall lose effect on the day of the enactment of this Constitution.
Article 120. (Enactment of National Flag and National Anthem)
The national flag of Japan shall be the Rising Sun flag, and the national anthem of Japan shall be the Kimigayo.27
Chapter XII. Amendments
Article 121. (Initiation of Constitutional Amendments, National Referendum, Promulgation)
Amendments to this Constitution shall be initiated by the Diet, through a concurring vote of four-sevenths or more of all the members of each House and shall thereupon be submitted to the people for ratification.
(2) The ratification in the preceding paragraph shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of four-sevenths or more of votes cast thereon, at a special referendum or at such election as the Diet shall specify.
(3) Amendments when so ratified shall immediately be promulgated by the Emperor in the name of the people, as an integral part of this Constitution.
The Nippon Public Advanced Party considers four-sevenths a better number to prevent the abuse of constitutional amendment as it is slightly more than a “majority”.28