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Unformatted text preview: FINAL EXAM: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2:00-4:00 P.M., THH 201 Identifications 1. 1947 Constitution of Japan- The Constitution of Japan has been the founding legal document of Japan since 1947. The constitution provides for a parliamentary system of government and guarantees certain fundamental rights. Under its terms the Emperor of Japan is the de jure head of state but exercises a purely ceremonial role. The constitution is perhaps most famous for the renunciation of the right to wage war contained in Article 9. The constitution was drawn up under the Allied occupation that followed World War II and was intended to replace Japan's previous imperial system with a form of liberal democracy. It is a rigid document and no subsequent amendment has been made to it since its adoption. The new constitution would not have been written the way it was had MacArthur and his staff allowed Japanese politicians and constitutional experts to resolve the issue as they wished. The document's foreign origins have, understandably, been a focus of controversy since Japan recovered its sovereignty in 1952. Yet in late 1945 and 1946, there was much public discussion on constitutional reform, and the MacArthur draft was apparently greatly influenced by the ideas of certain Japanese liberals. The MacArthur draft did not attempt to impose a United States-style presidential or federal system. Instead, the proposed constitution conformed to the British model of parliamentary government, which was seen by the liberals as the most viable alternative to the European absolutism of the Meiji Constitution. After 1952 conservatives and nationalists attempted to revise the constitution to make it more "Japanese," but these attempts were frustrated for a number of reasons. One was the extreme difficulty of amending it. Amendments require approval by twothirds of the members of both houses of the National Diet before they can be presented to the people in a referendum (Article 96). Also, opposition parties, occupying more than one-third of the Diet seats, were firm supporters of the constitutional status quo. Even for members of the ruling LDP, the constitution was not disadvantageous. They had been able to fashion a policy-making process congenial to their interests within its framework. Nakasone Yasuhiro, a strong advocate of constitutional revision during much of his political career, for example, downplayed the issue while serving as prime minister between 1982 and 1987. 2. US-Japan Security Treaty and the fight over its revision- The Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security was signed between the United States and Japan in Washington on January 19, 1960. It strengthened Japan's ties to the West during the Cold War era. The treaty also included general provisions on the further development of international cooperation and on improved future economic cooperation....
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This note was uploaded on 04/15/2008 for the course EASC 150g taught by Professor Rosen during the Fall '07 term at USC.
- Fall '07