The Emperor in the Japanese Constitution – Mitsuhiro Naito

This blogpost is a review of the communication “El emperador en la Constitución japonesa” read at the seminar “Japón: la posición del Emperador y el principio de igualdad en la Constitución” held at the Faculty of Law of the University of Barcelona on March 18 2014.

I. Introduction

The present Japanese Constitution was established in 1947, after World War II and was intended to replace Japan’s previous militaristic and absolute monarchy system with a form of liberal democracy.

This Constitution has various characteristics. First of all, the Japanese Constitution provides for a parliamentary system and guarantees certain fundamental rights.

Second, the Japanese Constitution, also known as “Peace Constitution”, is most characteristic and famous for the renunciation of the right to wage war contained in Article 9. Third, it states the sovereignty of the people and the Emperor of Japan is “the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people” and exercises a purely ceremonial role without the possession of sovereignty.

In this seminar I talked about the Emperor system in the Japanese Constitution.Read More »

Decentralization Reform in Japan – Stagnation or Advance? – Toru Yamada

Brief version of a paper for the International Conference on Decentralization held in Kanagawa University November 14th 2013.

(Ⅰ) Preface

In August 2009, a new Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) government under Prime Minister Hatoyama took power in a landslide victory, with 308 of 480 seats in the Lower House. The election marked a real change of government, which overthrew the long term dominance of the conservative party in Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).The DPJ ran on a platform for “the local sovereignty” (decentralization reform), which was given one of the top priorities among its domestic policies. Now, after three years of DPJ three prime ministers, the reform-plans did not live up to their promises despite a few important advances. The decentralization reform has proved difficult to reach in the current Japanese political climate, especially with the unprecedented disaster of March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, and the extraordinary recovery effort that followed.Read More »