With almost 2,000 years of history, Japan boasts the second largest economy in the world. Yet, its first modern constitution - the Meiji Constitution - was not enacted until comparatively recently, in1889. Following World War II, Japan adopted and ratified its current Constitution, the Japanese Constitution of 1946. This book - part of the Constitutional Systems of the World series by Hart Publishing, Oxford - is designed to explain the outline of Japan's Constitution together with a number of its unique characteristics, and offers the 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, the Cabinet and executive power, and the Judiciary and judicial power. Also discussed are the protection of fundamental human rights, individual rights (including freedom of expression), economic freedoms, social rights, democratic and procedural rights, pacifism, and national defense. Although the Japanese Constitution was enacted under the strong influence of the US Constitution, many of its features are very different, for example: the existence of an Emperor * the long dominance of the 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 * the struggle over national defense. 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.
01 January 2011