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Public Lecture Presentation Slides (5.23.2013) Masako Kamiya: Why We Are Concerned with the 2012 LDP Proposal to Change the Constitution


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Masako Kamiya: Professor of Law at Gakushuin University and Representative Director of the Japan Civil Liberties Union

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Public Lecture Presentation Slides (5.23.2013) Masako Kamiya: Why We Are Concerned with the 2012 LDP Proposal to Change the Constitution

  1. 1. Why We Are Concerned with the2012 LDP Proposal to Change theConstitutionMay 23, 2013Masako KAMIYA
  2. 2. As could easily be imagined, we, asmembers of JCLU, share concern forhuman rights and their violationsparticularly by government authority.Beyond this common concern, eachmember might differ as to what isthe most important issue evenamong us.
  3. 3. By Choice With ReasonsJapan and the Modern World
  4. 4. In the Latter Half of 19th CenturyJapanese Government consciously chose tojoin the modern world with the intent tobecome one of the world powers.In order to modernize the country, it adopted,in the beginning, the French-style legal systemand the German-style Constitution.
  5. 5. Around the Turn ofthe (Last) CenturyGermany gained influence in many areas,including law.The controversy surrounding drafting of theGerman Civil Code influenced our Civil Codedrafting process.
  6. 6. The 1947 ConstitutionBy Choice With Reasons
  7. 7. When It Was DraftedIn the early postwar period, the JapaneseGovernment was aware of the incoming FarEastern Commission and its hard line positionagainst the Tenno (or Emperor).It chose the draft Constitution whichpreserved the Tenno system before FEC was tosupervise the Allied Council for Japan.
  8. 8. During the Ratification ProcessAfter the April 1946 election, the Dietfollowed the procedure provided by the 1889Constitution.
  9. 9. During the Ratification ProcessThe process allowed many amendments to bemade, including conditions of being a Japanese national (Art.10) guarantee of universal suffrage (Art. 15) redress in case of damages by illegal acts ofpublic officials from the State and publicentities (Art. 17)
  10. 10. During the Ratification Processas well as “liability to taxation” (Art. 30) “obligation to work” (Art. 27)
  11. 11. LDP’s Platforms Since 1955According to LDP, its platforms since 1955 havecontained a clause referring to 現行憲法の自主的改正 adopting constitution the free will ofJapanese people.<>Is it this process that really matters to LDP or is itthe content of the changes that matter?
  12. 12. LDP’s Platforms Since 1955After the election result of May 1958,LDP leaders chose to table (or postpone)their desire to revise the Constitution bychoice, because they realized that theirideas for a revised constitution wasextremely unpopular.
  13. 13. LDP’s Platforms Since 1955In 2005, the LDP advocated,新しい憲法の制定adoption of a new constitution in its platformIn 2012, the LDP renewed its call for a new Constitution,新憲法の制定reflecting日本らしい日本の姿 their vision of the “real Japan”・・・ LDP’s concerns have shifted to the content beingparticularly Japanese rather than the process itself ・・・
  14. 14. The Content of the 2012 Proposalunfortunately,is a choicewhich ignores the choicesour forebears made
  15. 15. My Utmost Concernisthe Amending Procedure
  16. 16. The Constitution shall be amendedwith a simple MAJORITYof members of each Housesthenpresented to the people for ratificationthrough a MAJORITYof all votes casted
  17. 17. Another huge concern is thecomplete ELIMINATION of Article97 which refers to the origins andreception of Fundamental HumanRights
  18. 18. The Deletion of Article 97goes together withthe Deletions to the Preamble
  19. 19. Japan,A New “Country Risk” ?