Kenpō Chōsakai Shimin Kanshi Sentā
[Citizens' Center for Monitoring Diet Research Commission on the Constitution]
The Citizens' Oversight Center on the House of Councillors' Commission on the Constitution was established in 2001. After the Research Commission on the Constitution of the House of Councillors was created in 2000, citizens formed this commission to prevent harmful revisions to the constitution (kaiaku) by monitoring and analyzing the actions of the Research Commission on the Constitution. Yasuhiro Okudaira (a professor of law at the University of Tokyo and member of the Article 9 Association who was well-known for his research on the Constitution), researchers, lawyers, and civic activists participated.
In order to help citizens better understand problems related to the constitution and increase their interest in those issues, the center published a monthly magazine called the Constitution Report, launched a website, offered opposing opinions to central issues related to constitutional revision, and hosted regular study meetings. In 2004, the center created the Citizens’ Constitution Forum. The goal of this forum was to provide all citizens—not just those who advocated protecting the constitution (goken)—with an opportunity to discuss the constitution, its value, and its usefulness. The Citizens' Constitution Forum also organized a number of symposiums.