Partial Draft



A New Draft of the Constitution2
March 2001


We, the Japanese people, are the sovereigns [of our country] who have the authority to make the ultimate decisions for Japan. [Our] government is duly elected and the representatives who receive the mandate from the people are responsible [for it].

We, the Japanese people, shall strive to preserve world peace and actively contribute to international society. Japan shall steadfastly maintain its independence, commit itself to pacifism as a member of international society, and seek codependent relations with other nations.

We, the Japanese people, respect fundamental human rights, and aim [to create] a vibrant society [where people] can feel at ease. Rights entail duties, and responsibility is inherent in freedom. At times, the rights of the self-reliant people adjusted from the perspective of the public interest.

We, the Japanese people,  hold the idea of coexistence in high regard. They shall carefully protect Japan’s history and traditions, its unique culture, and beautiful territory. As self-reliant individuals, they shall exhibit a spirit of service to society.

We, the Japanese people, join together in solidarity and pledge to create a moral nation.

We, the Japanese people,  establish this Constitution as the supreme law of the land.

Chapter I. The People and the Emperor

Article 1.
Japan’s sovereign power resides with the people. The Emperor shall be the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people.

Article 2.
The conditions necessary for being a Japanese national shall be determined by law. The people shall exercise their power through the duly elected representatives in the National Diet.

Article 3.
The Imperial Throne shall be dynastic and succeeded to in accordance with the Imperial House Law passed by the Diet.

Article 4.
The advice and approval of the Prime Minister shall be required for all acts of the Emperor in matters of state, and the Prime Minister shall be responsible therefor.

Article 5.
The Emperor shall perform only such acts in matters of state as are provided for in this Constitution and he shall not have powers related to government. The Emperor may delegate the performance of his acts in matters of state as may be provided by law.

Article 6.
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 7.
The Emperor shall appoint the Prime Minister as designated by the Diet. The Emperor shall appoint the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court as designated by the Prime Minister.

Article 8.
The Emperor, with the advice and approval of the Prime Minister, shall perform the following acts in matters of state on behalf of the people:
1. Promulgation of amendments of the Constitution, laws, cabinet orders and treaties.
2. Convocation of the Diet.
3. Dissolution of the House of Representatives.
4. Proclamation of an election of members of the Diet.
5. Attestation of the appointment and dismissal of Ministers of State and other officials as provided for by law, and of full powers and credentials of Ambassadors and Ministers.
6. Attestation of general and special amnesty, commutation of punishment, reprieve, and restoration of rights.
7. Awarding of honors.
8. Attestation of instruments of ratification and other diplomatic documents as provided for by law.
9. Receiving foreign ambassadors and ministers as a representative of the nation.
10. Performance of ceremonial functions.

Article 9.
No property can be given to, or received by, the Imperial House, nor can any gifts be made therefrom, without the authorization of the Diet.

*The following passages that need to be incorporated  (the national flag and national anthem) still require further investigation.

Article X. (The National Flag and National Anthem)
The national flag and national anthem shall be determined by law.

Chapter X. Security

< Article X.
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, except for cases involving the use of the right of self-defense.
(2) In order for Japan to protect its sovereignty and independence, preserve the country’s security, and cooperate for the achievement of world peace, land, sea, and air force, and other organizations shall be maintained under the supreme command of the Prime Minister.

*A chapter about the Cabinet will be added [later].

Article X.
The declaration of a state of emergency, shall be announced by the Prime Minister, and it shall have a time limit, as provided by law.

Article X. (The Responsibility to Maintain Freedom and Rights)
The 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 strive to harmonize them with the public interest.

Article X. (The Dignity of Individuals)
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 interest, be given the highest consideration in legislation and in other governmental affairs.

Article X. (The Freedom to Choose and Change Residence, and the Freedom to Divest Oneself of Nationality)
Every person shall have freedom to choose and change his residence to the extent that it does not interfere with the public interest. All people shall have the freedom to move to a foreign country and to divest themselves of their nationality.

Article X. (The Freedom of Personal Economic Activity)3
Every person shall have the right to freely engage in personal economic activities to the extent that they do not interfere with the common good.

Article X. (The Right to Own or Hold Property)4
The right to own or to hold property shall not be violated.
(2) Property rights shall be defined by law, in conformity with the public interest.
(3) Private property may be taken for public use upon fair compensation therefor.

Article X. (The Obligation to Obey the Constitution and Laws)
All people shall be obligated to respect and obey the Constitution and the law.

Article X.(Right to the Environment and the Obligation to Protect the Environment)
Every person shall have the right to enjoy a healthy and pleasant environment, and they shall be obligated to make an effort to protect [it]. The State shall use its endeavors to protect and improve the environment.

Article X.(Protecting Privacy)
The right of every person’s honor and reputation, or personality to not be infringed upon unjustifiably shall be guaranteed. Every person shall have the right to not be subjected to arbitrary interference with his/her privacy, family, or home.5 The secrecy of any means of communication shall not be violated.

Article X. (The Right to Know)
Every person may request that the State or a public entity disclose information related to its functions, in accordance with the law.

Article X. (The Obligation to Protect Culture, Etc.)
The state shall protect scenic landscapes, along with historical, cultural, and artistic property. [It] shall strive to develop [such matters].

Article X. (The Freedom to Choose One’s Occupation or Business)
Every person shall have freedom to choose his/her occupation or business to the extent that it does not interfere with the public interest.

Article X. (Due Process)
Administrative procedures must be fair.

Article X. (The Obligation to Protect the Nation’s National Security)
The people shall be obligated to contribute to national security, as provided for by law.

Article X. (Political Parties)
All people may freely form political parties.
(2) The goals, actions, and organization must be in accordance with the principles of democracy.

Article X. (The Cabinet)
Executive power shall be vested in the Prime Minister.

Article X.
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 and other Ministers of State must be civilians.
(3) The Prime Minister, in the exercise of executive power, shall be responsible to the Diet.

Article X.
The Prime Minister shall appoint the Ministers of State. However, a majority of the cabinet members who receive approval must be chosen from among the members of the Diet.
(2) The Prime Minister may remove the Ministers of State as he chooses.

Article X.
If the House of Representatives passes a non-confidence resolution, or rejects a confidence resolution, the Cabinet shall resign en masse, unless the House of Representatives is dissolved within ten (10) days.

Article X.
The declaration of a state of emergency, shall be announced by the Prime Minister, and it shall have a time limit, as provided by law.

Article X. (Financial Health)
The State and self-governing bodies (jichitai) shall use their endeavors to maintain and manage sound finances.

Article X. (The Expenditure of Public Money and Restrictions on its Use)
No public money or other property shall be expended or appropriated for the use, benefit or maintenance of any religious institution or association.

Article X. (Local Government)
Local government shall be based on the principles of self-reliance and self responsibility of local self-governing bodies (chihō jichitai) and their residents.

Article X.
Matters related to the organization and management shall be based on the principle of self-government and shall be fixed by law.

Article X.
Local self-governing bodies shall establish assemblies as their deliberative organs, in accordance with the law.
(2) The chief executive officers of all local self-governing bodies, the members of their assemblies, and such other local officials as may be determined by law shall be elected by direct popular vote within their several communities.
(3) The term of the chief executive officers may be determined by law. A limit on the number of times a person can be elected may also be established.
(4) Local self-governing bodies shall have the right to manage their property, affairs and administration and to enact their own regulations within law.

Article X. (Procedures for Amendments)
Amendments to this Constitution shall be initiated by the Diet, through a concurring vote of a majority of all the members of each House and shall thereupon be submitted to the people for ratification, which shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of all votes cast thereon, at a special referendum or at such election as the Diet shall specify.
(2) Amendments when so ratified shall immediately be promulgated by the Emperor in the name of the people.