2018: The Constitution must be defended

Die Verfassung Japans.  
The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus     Volume 16 | Issue 20 | Number 3 | Oct 15, 2018

The Constitution Must Be Defended: Thoughts on the Constitution’s Role in Japan’s Postwar Democracy
憲法は護らなければならない ―戦後民主主義における憲法の役割に関する考 察―
Tomoyuki Sasaki

Revision of the Japanese Constitution is a heated topic, associated with nationalistic sentiment. Conservatives insist the constitution was imposed by the US occupation and call for an “autonomous constitution” created without foreign interference. This article critiques this discourse within the historical context of modern democracy. I emphasize the need to distinguish two questions: whether a constitution was established democratically and whether it has contributed to enhancing democracy. I highlight the importance of the second question. The Constitution of Japan may not have democratic origins, but it has enhanced democracy. The article provides a historically rooted and theoretically solid framework for constructive discussions of constitutional revision as the Abe administration prepares to submit its proposal for revision.

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