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Unformatted text preview: 1. 1947 Constitution of Japan The 1947 Constitution was created by the United States during Japanese occupation and was first drafted in English. The emperor himself has no political power, but is just a state symbol. He can conduct ceremonial and diplomatic affairs. The government has three branches, the legislative, administrative, and judiciary. Legislative power belongs to the Diet (parliament), administrative power goes to the Cabinet, and judicial power lies in the court system. Universal suffrage was introduced (all adults 20 and older, reduced from 25 and now women can vote) and human rights were guaranteed. Americans removed the armed forces and encouraged the re-establishment of competing parties. Article 9 of the Constitution ended Japan as a possible military power. Japan was forbidden to ever lead a war again or to maintain an army. Created by the United States who during occupation. It provides parliamentary structure, but many Japanese believed it was anti- Japanese and too westernized. It basically brought democracy to 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 two thirds 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 96)....
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- Spring '08