Political Parties

Jiyū-Minshutō | Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 

自由民主党 (1955-)
Archived Site (IA) | Archived Site (NDL) | Live Site
This website set out the LDP's stance on constitutional revision, proposing the following changes: 1. create a new Preamble; 2. achieve a "realistic peace," and prepare for emergencies by changing the SDF to a military force; 3. establish "new human rights," including the right to privacy; 4. establish a new definition of the "public;" 5. improve relations between the Diet and the Cabinet.

Kenpō Chōsakai | [Research Commission on the Constitution]

憲法調査会

Archived Site (IA) | Original URL (closed in 2009)
This website provides minutes of the meetings of the LDP Constitution Committee (自由民主党憲法調査会). Links for each meeting present a short summary of proceedings and comments of those in attendance. Each meeting addresses a different topic, such as the Preamble, Diet, Cabinet, judiciary, financial affairs, citizens' rights and responsibilities, prefectural governments, national defense, and the emperor.

Kenpō Kaisei Suishin Honbu | Liberal Democratic Constitutional Reform Promotion Headquarters 

憲法改正推進本部

In May 2010, the National Referendum Law for constitutional revision went into effect. This legislation enabled lawmakers to propose a draft and discuss it in a Commission on the Constitution in the Diet. Commissions on the Constitution were established in each of the two houses: in the lower house in 2009, and in the upper house in 2011. The LDP announced that they would publish a constitutional draft via this headquarters by May 2010 - in reality, they released a full draft two years later than planned, in 2012. Afterward, the LDP headquarters for constitutional reform has promoted constitutional discussion throughout Japan, aming to shape national opinions towards its amendment. Their publications and seminar information are available on this website.  
 

Jiyūtō | Liberal Party 

自由党 (2016-2019)

This party’s predecessor party, the “People’s Life Party (生活の党)”, was founded in 2012. It combined several groups in the Diet, including Ozawa Ichirō’s faction and Hatoyama Yukio’s faction of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which were both leaving the DPJ at the time. In 2015, Ozawa published a statement as the leader of the party, criticizing the security bills that the Abe administration proposed in the Diet for violating the constitution; Ozawa said the bills would enable Japan to exercise its collective self-defense right unlimitedly, which would be beyond the stipulation of Article 9. Ozawa argued that Japan’s contributions to resolve international conflicts should primarily follow the UN’s direction. After repeated re-organizations, the group renamed themselves as the “Liberal Party” in 2016. As of October 2018, they had six seats in the Diet, with representatives in the Houses of Representatives and Councillors. In April 2019, Ozawa and other members joined the Democratic Party for the People (Kokumin-minshutō). Yamamoto Tarō founded a new political party, Reiwa Shinsengumi.
 

Kibō no Tō | Party of Hope

希望の党 (2017-2018)

Archived Site (IA) | Archived Site (NDL)Live Site (after splitting in 2018, the content and policies on the party’s website are substantially different)
In July 2016, LDP lawmaker Koike Yuriko (House of Representatives) won the Tokyo gubernatorial election without the LDP’s support. She founded a local political party after the election and reformed it into a national party with another ex-LDP politician. Ahead of the general election in September 2017, they reorganized the party into a new national party, Kibō no Tō, involving additional members from non-LDP parties (mainly the Democratic Party). The new party’s platform stood for constitutional revision for decentralization of governance; moving from a Tokyo-focused government toward more independence for local regions. However, they kept their stance regarding Article 9 blurred because of internal conflict over security issues. After a poor result in the general election of October 2017, Koike resigned and Tamaki Yūichirō took over party leadership. In May 2018, the party split into two groups: the “liberals” founded the Democratic Party for the People (国民民主党) with the Democratic Party and the “conservatives” created a new party, using the party’s original name, Kibō no Tō.  

 

Kibō no Tō | Party of Hope

希望の党 (2018-)

The “conservatives” in Kibō no Tō remained and reorganized the party after the majority's secession in 2018. They are in favor of constitutional revision, aiming to stipulate the status of the SDF in Article 9 and add a new clause to prescribe privacy rights. Their clause drafts for Article 9 and privacy rights are available in the “Policies” section on their website. They also give a more-detailed explanation for their Article-9 clause proposal here.  
 

Kokumin-minshutō | Democratic Party for the People (DPFP)

国民民主党 (2018-)

The party was founded by ex-DP (Democratic Party) politicians and the “liberals” who left Kibō no Tō in 2018. According to the party platform, they criticize the Abe administration for arbitrarily changing the interpretation of the constitution and expanding the range of the LDP’s activities without getting a consensus amongst the people. Standing for “comprehensive security”, the SPFP aims to preserve the “pacifism” that Japan has sought since the end of World War II with the current constitution.
 

Kōmeitō | New Komeito Party 

This website explains Komeitō's "strengthening the constitution" (加憲 kaken) position on constitutional revision. The party holds that Japan should respect the current constitution, especially the three principles – popular sovereignty, permanent pacifism, and fundamental human rights – while making changes to adapt to the new challenges of the 21st century. The party holds that new rights (such as those regarding environmental rights and privacy) should be added. The party also holds that the right of collective self-defense should not be included in the revised constitution. Other topics include education, prefectural governance, and the national referendum. The Komeitō Party believes that a national referendum to approve or reject a new constitution should be based on approval or rejection of specific articles, not on the draft in its entirety.

Kenpō Chōsakai | [Research Commission on the Constitution]

憲法調査会

Komeitō publishes information about its research committee on the constitution on this page. The list of committee members is available here.
 

Minshintō | Democratic Party (DP)

民進党 (2016-2018)

Minshintō was primarily founded by former DPJ and Ishin no Tō politicians in 2016. According to the party's platform, their constitutional stance was very thoughtfully conceived. Although they opposed changing Article 9, they appeared open to elaborate constitutional conceptions to secure new human rights, such as “environmental rights” and “rights of access”, as well as governmental reform to expand local autonomy. Find the DP’s policy platform regarding the constitution here. The DP faced repeated electoral defeats and internal disagreements. In October 2017, a group lead by Edano Yukio left the DP and created a new party, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (立憲民主党). In 2018, joining Kibō no Tō, the DP reorganized into the Democratic Party For the People (国民民主党).
 
Minshutō | Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) 
民主党 (1996-2016)
In 1996, this party was jointly founded by several pre-existing parties that were all founded after the 1955 System collapsed in 1993-94. These parties distinguished themselves from the two large parties under the 1955 System: the LDP and the SDPJ (Social Democratic Party of Japan). They also clearly distinguished their ideals from communism. Anti-LDP traits bonded the DPJ members together, but they were originally from different parties and had internal disagreements over security issues; some members had their ideological roots in “conservative” parties, including the LDP, and others in “liberal” parties, such as a “right-wing” socialist party, Minshu Shakai-tō (the Democratic Socialist Party/DSP). After its landslide victory in the general election in August 2009, the DPJ governed Japan between 2009 and 2012. As internal disunity became more serious, the LDP was completely defeated in the 2012 general election and lost power. Joining the Japan Innovation Party (Ishin no Tō), the DPJ reorganized into Minshintō (the Democratic Party/DP) in 2016.

Kenpō Hōmu | [The Constitution and Judicial Affairs]
「憲法・法務」

This website sets out the DPJ's position on constitutional revision. It proposes structural revision of the Diet and a clear delineation of role and structure of the treasury, establishes new guidelines for genetic technology and clearer guidelines regarding national defense. Regarding Article 9, DPJ states that its spirit – pacifism (平和主義) – should be preserved, but in order to exercise collective security (as stated in the U.N. Charter), Japan should specify its support for: 1. the UN's collective security activities; 2. a restricted right of self-defense; 3. maximized restriction on use of arms in the event of revision of Article 9. The DPJ also emphasizes the importance of new human rights, including the right to privacy and the right to information, respect for the principle of pacifism, the importance of specifying the idea of "civilian control" in the new constitution, and the need to clarify Japan's role in the UN's collective security activities.
 

Nihon Kyōsantō | Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 

日本共産党 (1922-)
Archived Site (IA) | Archived Site (NDL) | Live Site
The website states the views of the Communist Party towards constitutional revision, especially Article 9. A link in the website (http://www.jcp.or.jp/topics/yuuji.html) lists articles in chronological order on political and citizens' movements, mainly regarding Article 9. The party strongly opposes changing Article 9 to make the SDF a full military force and allowing the SDF to initiate or participate in overseas military actions. It argues that abolishing Article 9 will make Japan a militaristic country and will disrupt peace and security in East Asia. It adds that following the lead of the US is not always desirable.
 

Nippon Ishin no Kai | Japan Innovation Party

日本維新の会 (2012-)

This party was originally founded in 2012 as the Japan Restoration Party (日本維新の会/Nippon Ishin no Kai) under the leadership of Hashimoto Tōru, the then-Mayor of Ōsaka. The group had several realignments afterward. In 2014, the party renamed itself the Japan Innovation Party (日本維新の党/Nippon Ishin no Tō) and merged with the Unity Party (結いの党/Yui no Tō). In 2015, some members sought alignment with the DPJ (this group made the DP later) and the other remained and reorganized themselves as the Initiatives from Ōsaka (おおさか維新の会/Ōsaka Ishin no Kai) party. In 2016, that group renamed itself again as the Japan Innovation Party. Also in 2016, they published a constitutional draft, aiming mainly for provisions of free education, governmental reform, and establishment of a constitutional court.
 

Nippon no Kokoro | Party for Japanese Kokoro

日本のこころ (2014-2018)

In 2014, Nippon Ishin no Kai split into two groups; one followed Hashimoto Tōru and the other supported Ishihara Shintarō. Ishihara’s group created a new party. After frequent changes, the party fixed its name as Nippon no Kokoro in 2017; the original name was Jisedai no Tō (the Party for Future Generations). The party was in favor of constitutional revision and published a draft in April 2017. The party emphasized the importance of cultivation of nationalism in the draft. The draft stipulated that Japan hss a standing “military (gun/軍)” and that traditional families should be preserved as a fundamental social unit. After a poor result in the general election in 2017, the party became disqualified as a national party. In November 2018, the party was absorbed by the LDP.  
 

Reiwa Shinsengumi 

れいわ新選組 (2019-)  

In April 2019, the Liberty Party (自由党) dissolved and one of its main leaders, a former well-known actor and a member of the House of Councillors, Yamamoto Tarō, founded this political party. In the general election in 2019, the party successfully sent two candidates with severe disabilities to the Diet - this required that parts of the Diet building be renovated to accommodate those candidates, according to universal design principles. Aiming to improve society and reduce exclusion of marginalized people, the party is opposed to constitutional revision under the Abe administration – they criticize the LDP’s 2012 draft for giving too much power to the state. 
 

Rikken Minshutō | Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan

立憲民主党 (2017-)

While the majority of the DP sought alignment with Kibō no Tō ahead of the general election in 2017, a “liberal” group lead by Edano Yukio left the DP. The group created a new party, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP). The CDP is open to constitutional discussion; they describe their stance as “constitutionalistic constitutional deliberation (立憲的憲法論議)”. Regarding security, they assert that the reinterpretation of Article 9 in 2014 and the following approval of the bills in 2015, which enabled Japan to exercise its collective self-defense right, violated constitutionalism. On the other hand, they proclaim to work on legislation for same-sex marriage; they say that they would consider a constitutional amendment if it is legally appropriate. The CDP’s platform related to the constitution is available here.  
 

Shakai Minshutō | Social Democratic Party 

社会民主党 (1996-)

In 1996, the Social Democratic Party of Japan (日本社会党) renamed itself the Social Democratic Party (社会民主党). The SDP is against constitutional revision. As the Abe administration has increased its aggressiveness in order to amend the constitution by 2020, they renewed their constitutional stance and published a statement in July 2017. In the statement, they argue that the constitution of Japan is the common property of all mankind. They also say that Japan pledged to be a peaceful state via the constitution after World War II, and the constitution has helped it earn credibility from international society, including neighboring countries in Asia, which Japan had previously invaded.