Sōken Kaigi

[Council for Constitutional Creation]

Sōken Kaigi was composed of members of the Democratic Party of Japan (dissolved in 2016) who were in the former Democratic Socialist Party (Minshatō), and members of the Japan Forum for Research in Public Policy (formerly the Democratic Socialist Congress). In 1960,Nishio Suehiro,Tetsu Katayama, and Chōzaburō Mizutani - members of the Socialist Party’s right-wing faction - left the party and formed the Democratic Socialist Party. They advocated democratic socialism and were anti-communist. During the 1960s, the political scientist Masamichi Rōyama became the chairman of the Democratic Socialist Congress). The party made it clear that it supported the Anpo treaty, and it took the position that the Self-Defense Force and the use of collective self-defense were constitutional.

In 2005, Sōken Kaigi published “A Draft of a New Constitution.”Shūjirō Katō (a member of the Japan Forum for Research in Public Policy and professor at Tōyō University),Osamu Nishi (professor at Komazawa University), and Akira Momochi (professor at Nihon University) participated. The Preamble explicitly mentioned the “spirit of harmony.” Between the Preamble and Chapter 1, there is an “Introduction” which stipulates that the emperor is a symbol of the nation. It also stipulates that the prime minister has the authority to command and supervise the military (guntai) and it prohibits the establishment of a conscription system. The draft also has a new chapter on the Constitutional Court. The procedures and requirements for revising the Constitution are also relaxed. If two-thirds or more of all the members of each House vote to amend the constitution, then they do not need to submit the amendment to the people for ratification.