PHP Institute

PHP Sōgō Kenkyūjo

The PHP Institute is a civilian think tank established in 1946 by Kōnosuke Matsushita, the founder of Matsushita Electric Industrial Company (now Panasonic). The acronym PHP stands for “Peace and Happiness through Prosperity,” one of Matsushita’s long-felt wishes. The PHP Institute conducted multi-disciplinary research in fields that include politics, government, public finance, economics, diplomacy, security, and management. It also offered policy recommendations. The think tank’s research findings are published online in PHP Policy Review and in other publications.

In 2004, the PHP Institute Published “A Private Draft of the Constitution,” edited by Katsuhiko Eguchi and Toshio Nagahisa. During that time, Eguchi was the chairmen of the board of directors at PHP and Nagahisa was the head of PHP’s Second Research Headquarters. Chapter 1 in the draft is a new chapter entitled “The Sovereignty of the People.” The name of Chapter 8,  “Local Self-Government” is renamed “Local Sovereignty” and it proposes the establishment of states in Japan. It also stipulates that the Emperor is the symbolic head of state. Regarding national security, the draft explicitly states that the prime minister has the authority to command and supervise the nation’s armed forces (kokugun). The other distinguishing feature is the establishment of a system of direct election of the prime minister and rights and obligations related to the environment.