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The Constitution of Japan

A Contextual Analysis

By: Shigenori Matsui
Media of The Constitution of Japan
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Published: 30-11-2010
Format: PDF eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 324
ISBN: 9781847316110
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Constitutional Systems of the World
RRP: £25.19
Online price : £20.15
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About The Constitution of Japan

Japan boasts the second largest economy in the world and almost two thousand years of history. Yet, its first modern constitution, the Meiji Constitution, was not enacted until comparatively recently (1889). Since then, following World War II, Japan adopted its current Constitution, the Japanese Constitution of 1946. This book is designed to explain the outline of Japan's Constitution, together with a number of its unique characteristics and to offer an historical background and context which help explain its significance. Major topics covered include the constitutional history of Japan, fundamental principles of the Constitution, the people and the Emperor, the Diet and legislative power, Cabinet and executive power, and the Judiciary and judicial power. Also discussed is the protection of fundamental human rights, individual rights - including freedom of expression,economic freedoms, and social rights - pacifism and national defence, and the constitutional amendment and reform. Although the Japanese Constitution was enacted under the strong influence of the United States Constitution, many of its features are very different. For instance the existence of an Emperor, the long dominance of a conservative party over the Government, the relatively strong power of government bureaucrats, the absence of a leadership role in the Prime Minister, the small role the judiciary play in solving constitutional disputes and the struggle over national defence. Written in an accessible style and comprehensive in content, the reader will find this account of the constitutional law of Japan both unique and stimulating.

Table Of Contents

1 The Constitution: Context And History
Part I: Constitutional Context
Part II: History
Part III: Sources Of Constitutional Law
Part IV: Supremacy of the Constitution
Part V: Fundamental Principles of the Japanese Constitution
Further Reading
2 The Constitution, the People and the Emperor
Part I: The Popular Sovereignty Principle
Part II: The People
Part II: Election and Political Party
Part IV: The Emperor
Further Reading
3 The Diet and the Legislative Power
Part I: The Diet
Part II: Powers of the Diet
Part III: Legislative Process 78
Part IV: Legislators and Bureaucrats: Reality of the Legislative Process
Further Reading
4 The Cabinet and the Executive Power
Part I: The Status of the Cabinet and the Prime Minister
Part II: The Powers of the Cabinet
P art III: The Relationship Between the Cabinet and the Diet
Part IV: The Prime Minister, the Cabinet and Bureaucrats
Part V: Legal Control of the Executive
Further Reading
5 The Courts and the Judicial Power
Part I: The Courts
Part II: Justiciability
Part III: The Power of Judicial Review
Further Reading
6 The Protection of Fundamental Human Rights: Structural Issues
Part I: Fundamental Human Rights
Part II: Applicability of Constitutional Rights
Part III: Restrictions on Fundamental Human Rights
Further Reading
7 The Protection of Fundamental Human Rights: Specific Rights
Part I: Equality
Part II: Personal Freedoms
Part III: Economic Freedoms
Part IV: Social Rights
Further Reading
8 Pacifism And National Defence
Part I: Pacifism
Part II: The Self-Defence Force
Part III: The Japan–United States Mutual Security Treaty
Part IV: The Constitution and International Peace Cooperation
Further Reading
9 Constitutional Amendment and Reforms
Part I: Constitutional Amendment
Part II: Amending the Japanese Constitution or Enacting a New Constitution
Further Reading


“Professor Matsui's volume is the first major treatment of Japanese constitutional law to appear in English in several years, and will be accessible to students and scholars alike as an excellent introduction to the field. The volume is easy to use, with a handy table of constitutional articles and legislation, as well as suggestions for further reading for those so inclined.” –  Tom Ginsburg, Japan Review, Volume 25

“…a concise and balanced description of the legal structure of the Japanese constitution.” –  Kazuhiro Takii, Journal of Japanese Studies, Volume 40. Number 1

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