Since its formation, the Liberal Democratic Party has advocated the crafting of a revised constitution for Japan. Over the years, the Party has announced numerous proposals for constitutional amendments that will unshackle the country from the system established during the Occupation and make Japan a truly sovereign state. In May 2012, which marks the 60th anniversary of the conclusion of the San Francisco Peace Treaty, the Liberal Democratic Party released a draft of a revised constitution appropriate to the times and circumstances of Japan.
Liberal Democratic Party will seek the public's approval for this draft revised constitution at the next general election
The Liberal Democratic Party intends submitting this draft to the Diet. Since the passing of the National Referendum Law in May this year, it has become feasible to submit a constitutional reform bill to the Diet. Our party will make every effort to amend the constitution by seeking the understanding of the public through discussions about the draft revision. If LDP's draft constitutional amendments are endorsed by a national referendum, it will be the first constitutional amendment in Japan's post-war history and mean that Japan has, for the first time, determined its own constitution.
The outline of the draft of a constitutional revision of Japan
All articles of the present constitution from the preamble to the provisions have been reviewed and revised. The revised draft is composed of eleven chapters, 110 articles in total, whereas the present Constitution has ten chapters comprising 103 articles. The preamble has been entirely redrafted. They state that Japan has a long history, a distinctive culture that respects harmony, and that the nation is a family whose members contribute to the common good.
The main points of the revised constitution are:
- prescriptions on the use of the national flag and the national anthem are provided;
- the right of self-defense is prescribed;
- an emergency article is newly provided;
- Japan shall respect the family, be responsible for environmental conservation and ensure a sound economy; and
- conditions for constitutional amendment initiatives are mitigated.
This draft is designed to meet the need of the times and respond to new challenges so that the revised constitution is appropriate for today's Japan.
The preamble details the characteristics of Japan including its long history and culture, and the Japanese people's pride and spirit to protect their own country and birthplace while adhering to three principles: the sovereignty of the people, fundamental human rights, and pacifism.
This chapter prescribes the Emperor as the head of the State, the symbol of the State and as a unifying entity for the people. It prescribes that the national flag be the Rising-Sun and the national anthem shall be Kimigayo. The prescription about the name of an era is newly provided: the name of an era shall be enacted in the case of succession of the emperor.
This chapter prescribes that Japan maintains its long-held pacifism. It also prescribes that Japan has the right of self-defense and shall have the Defense Forces. It also newly prescribes the maintenance of its territorial integrity.
Rights and duties of the people
This chapter prescribes the conditions for universal suffrage at the national and local levels: universal suffrage shall be given to Japanese adults. It newly prescribes that a family shall be respected as a basic unit of a society and that family members should help one other. New articles regarding responsibilities of the state include conservation of environment, protection of Japanese overseas in the case of emergency, and providing consideration to victims of crime.
This chapter newly prescribes that electoral districts shall be decided based on population and that administrative jurisdictions and other matters shall be taken into consideration.
In the case of a vacancy in the post of prime minister, who is to provisionally preside is newly prescribed. In this chapter, the authorities of the Prime Minister including the right to exercise control and supervision over various administrative branches, and the right to command the Defense Forces, are newly prescribed.
Emergency (new chapter)
This chapter prescribes that in the case of national emergency, including armed attacks by foreign countries and large-scale natural disasters, the prime minister shall declare a state of emergency and take appropriate measures in response.
This chapter provides for conditions to achieve constitutional revision. Amendments to the constitution shall be initiated by a majority of both houses of the Diet.
This Constitution shall be the supreme law of the nation.