Kenpō Chōsa Suishin Giin Renmei | Diet Members Caucus for Promoting Constitutional Revision
This is the website of an official congressional association composed of more than 300 Diet members favoring constitutional revision. It provides the association's mission statement and membership, and a comparative history of the constitutions of Japan and Germany. The website claims that Germany's constitution was created by its own citizens, while the constitution of Japan was imposed by the United States. The dramatic improvement in the economy and welfare in the postwar decades helped Japan occupy an honorable position in the international community, but in order for Japan to make a further contribution to the world, it must be concerned about the preservation of world peace. They claim that the constitution (especially Article 9, clause 2) should be revised in order to adapt to new challenges and situations.
Serving as the 63rd Prime Minister and LDP leader since 2012, Abe Shizō has vigorously called for constitutional revision. He held office between 2006 and 2007 as Prime Minister as well. When he took office back from the DPJ in 2012, he set constitutional revision as an issue of national pride for the Japanese people; see his 2012 political platform here. In 2017, he declared that he aims to enact “a new constitution” in 2020 in a speech marking the 70th anniversary of the enactment of the Constitution of Japan in 1947. He also insisted that Article 9 stipulate the status of the SDF. The video of the 2017 speech is available here. Also, information about his activities and publications, including statements and policy platforms, are available on Kantei’s website and his social media accounts, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.
This personal website belongs to Aichi Kazuo, former member of the House of Representatives. It offers an original revision draft known as the Aichi Draft. The draft emphasizes the role of the emperor, introduces Japanese culture and spirit in the Preamble, identifies the emperor as the chief of state, defines "Hinomaru (日の丸)" as the national flag and "Kimigayo (君が代)" as the anthem, promotes peaceful resolution of international conflicts, calls for revision of both clauses of Article 9; renames the SDF as a security force; and establishes articles about the environment, rights to privacy, and measures for dealing with national emergency.
Former Chair of the LDP headquarters for constitutional reform Funada Hajime identifies himself with “the moderates” of the LDP. He has criticized the party leadership for supporting constitutional revision by the Abe administration. According to him, the LDP’s 2012 draft was a campaign slogan aiming to take power back from the DPJ rather than a realistic constitutional draft. He claims the draft overly exaggerated nationalism and conservatism; he said that it was superfluous that the LDP proposed to replace “自衛隊” with “国防軍” and attempted to preserve traditional family values. He regularly publishes articles about various political issues on his website, including the constitution; click the “My Opinion” tab to reach his articles.
The website sets out Hatoyama's views on constitutional revision. Hatoyama emphasizes the importance of Japan's cooperation with Asian countries and potential economic unification among the countries. He proposes specifying the right of self-defense in the revised constitution and expanding the scope of the SDF's involvement in international cooperation. He also states that Japan should adopt a unicameral system and that executive power should be returned to the prime minister.
After moving amongst several non-LDP and non-socialist parties, such as the DPJ, DP and Kibō no Tō, Hosono Gōshi is currently an independent Diet member (House of Representatives). He served as a significant leader, for example as party executive or minister, in those parties. He played a main role in writing and publishing a constitutional draft when he belonged to Kibō no Tō in February 2018. The draft proposed to modify Article 8 to expand local autonomy. Here is his blog article about this draft; type “憲法” in the search bar in the blog to reach his other columns about the constitution via keyword search.
The website contains a discussion regarding Article 9 and collective self-defense by Ishihara and Yamamoto Tatsuhiko. Ishihara states that the right of collective self-defense should be allowed and stipulated in a revised Article 9. He also states, however, that more discussion is necessary to prevent reckless war.
「憲法改正を考える」｜[Thinking about Constitutional Revision]
The website states Ishihara's opinion regarding the constitution and constitutional revision using a discussion format with Yamamoto (山本龍彦) regarding Article 9. Other topics of discussion include the imposition of the constitution by the United States on Japan; the need for an environmental protection clause in the constitution; public election of prime minister; and the right to privacy.
「憲法問題を考える」 | [Thinking about Constitutional Issues]
The website sets out Ishihara’s views on constitutional revision. Other topics of discussion include the imposition of the constitution by the United States on Japan; the need for an environmental protection clause in the constitution; public election of prime minister; and the right to privacy.
This website sets out the views of Ishihara Shintarō, (Former Governor of Tokyo Prefecture) on a range of topics, including constitutional revision. Ishihara considers the current constitution to have been imposed upon Japan by the United States, and believes that Japan should discard draft a new document autonomously. The new constitution should state that the emperor is the head of the country, and that the prime minister should be popularly elected.
The website states Iwai's philosophy and his opinion regarding the emperor. He states that the current constitution was forced on Japan by the United States, and that it should be revised to reflect Japanese tradition and culture. He also states that the core of a new constitution must be based on Japanese wisdom and traditions. He believes that one important idea in Japanese culture, that of accepting difference, will be essential in building a new world civilization.
The website explains the general proceedings and background of the Research Commission on the Constitution. Nakayama is the leader of the Research Commission on the Constitution, House of Representatives. The website mentions the history of the current constitution, discusses constitutions of other countries, and highlights the facts that most countries have revised their constitutions to respond to changing circumstances, and discusses the issue of national defense.
「21世紀日本と憲法 第１回」(2003) | [Japan and the Constitution in the 21st Century (1)]
The website explains the general history and proceedings behind the current constitution with Nakayama's own interpretation of events. Nakayama thinks that the Japanese constitution should be revised, because it was written by the United States and does not reflect Japan’s own history, values, or traditions.
「21世紀日本と憲法 第２回」(2003) | [Japan and the Constitution in the 21st Century (2)]
This website states Nakayama's views toward constitutional revision, and explains the general proceedings and background of the Research Commission on the Constitution. It states that the current constitution leaves too much scope for interpretation leading to contradictions between the constitution and actions (as in the case when the Supreme Court justified an obviously unconstitutional decision of lowering the salary of all judges in Japan.) The site also explains how the Research Commission studied foreign constitutions and found that all had revised their constitutions. It argues against allowing citizens to vote for the prime minister (首相公選), using Israel & England as examples, and also claims the need for heightened awareness and interest of the public in constitutional revision.
「21世紀日本と憲法 最終回」(2003) | [Japan and the Constitution in the 21st Century (3)]
The website states Nakayama's views on the constitution and raises issues pertinent to constitutional revision. It proposes that the wide scope for interpretation of the constitution only deprives citizens of their rights. It also states that 1. the development of the Internet is raising a question regarding privacy rights; 2. the use of genetic technology and bioethics should be discussed in constitutional revision; 3. a law regarding national referendum should be established prior to constitutional revision; 4. if the prime minister is to be publicly elected in the new constitution, the current no-confidence vote by the Diet will need to be reconsidered; 5. there have been nine empresses in Japan's history, but choosing an appropriate spouse (for Princess Aiko) will be a difficult task.
The website states Nishimura's recommendations for constitutional revision. He supports rewriting the constitution in proper Japanese, making the emperor head of state, establishing civilian control of the military, establishing specific guidelines for military power, emphasizing both the rights and responsibilities of citizens, establishing a court of justice for the constitution, and revising the procedure for constitutional revision.
The website states Ohno's recommendations regarding revising the constitution. It states that Japan should change article 9 in order to expand the role of the SDF, because it needs military alliances with other countries for self-defense. Ohno also thinks that Japan should create laws for environmental protection and protection of personal privacy, reform the prefectural and national government systems, and increase citizens' duties in order to balance citizens' rights and duties.
The website explains Ozawa's views regarding constitutional revision, with specific recommendations for the new constitution in his article, "[A Tentative Amendment Draft of the Constituition of Japan] (「日本国憲法改試案」)" (Japanese Archived Site). He published this article in 1999. Ozawa holds that the current constitution was created under foreign occupation and does not reflect the views and history of Japan, and that a constitution created under an occupation is invalid. He also states that the Preamble should be rewritten; the emperor should be declared the head of state; Japan must revise article 9 to permit the right of self-defense by the SDF; and the UN should establish military forces. In addition, Ozawa proposes revising the notion of "public welfare (公共の福祉)", to include provisions for new human rights; abolishing the House of Councillors' elections, drastically revising Chapter 4 of the constitution regarding the Diet; establishing a court of justice for constitutional revision; and revising the procedure for constitutional revision.
LDP lawmaker Shimomura Hakubun was appointed to chair the LDP’s headquarters for constitutional reform in 2018.
This blog and website belong to the first leader of the Democratic Party for the People (Kokumin-minshtō). He identifies himself with “liberal conservatives”. In the context of constitutional discussion, he argues for the establishment of a constitutional court and government reform. However, he criticizes the LDP’s 2012 constitutional draft for ignoring fundamental human rights and the sovereignty of the people. He insists that the SDF not take military action abroad.
CDP lawmaker Yamao Shiori insists on “Constitutionalistic Revision”, aiming for constitutional revision from a “liberal” perspective. She is one of the members of the Commission on the Constitution (House of Representatives) who represents the CDP (Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan/立憲民主党). She opposes constitutional revision by the Abe administration. Regarding Article 9, she proposes to change the text to limit the sphere of the SDF’s activity only to individual self-defense purposes, denying its collective self-defense right. She explains her constitutional stance on her Youtube channel.
Serving as Komeitō’s leader since 2009, he has proposed to “add” clauses instead of to modify the constitution, aiming to follow today’s issues that did not exist when the constitution was written, such as protection of new human rights and expansion of local autonomy. He explained his political stance toward significant matters, including the constitution, on his website in 2013. He occasionally states his opinion about political topics in his blog. The blog articles are available from the website via keyword search; type “憲法改正’’ in the search bar to reach his columns about the constitution.
This website introduces excerpts from a book by Yamazaki (Special Advisor to the House of Representatives' Research Commission on Constitutional Revision). It also links to a discussion board covering issues of constitutional revision. Yamazaki believes that Japan should increase its military strength for the purpose of self defense, recognize the necessity of military alliances, make the prime minister Commander in Chief, eliminate the second clause of Article 9, mention both "the people" and "emperor" in the Preamble, establish new human rights clauses, strengthen the Diet and Cabinet, discuss legal matters regarding constitutional revision, and restructure the judiciary system, as well as the financial system.
This website states Yasuoka's views on the constitution and constitutional revision. It also includes concise summaries by many renowned scholars and politicians on their perspectives on constitutional revision, the right of collective self-defense, and popular election of the prime minister. Yasuoka respects the three fundamental principles in the current constitution – popular sovereignty, fundamental human rights, and pacifism. However, he also states that the current constitution should be revised to address emergencies and specify Japan's right to maintain military power for self defense and international peace. In addition, he advocates that Japan rewrite the constitution in proper Japanese; rewrite the Preamble, while retaining the symbolic status of the emperor; include clauses for environmental protection, privacy, new human rights, and the right to knowledge; make the constitution reflect Japan's history, culture, and values; and discuss structural change of the political system.
This website explains Yoshikawa's views regarding constitutional revision, and includes articles regarding meetings, trips, and conventions she attended in which constitutional revision was discussed. She opposes allowing the SDF to engage in overseas military actions, changing Article 9, or making the emperor the head of state, but supports the empress system.