Washington International Law Journal


Carl F. Goodman


The post World War II American Occupation of Japan was a huge programmatic success. Its disarmament, repatriation, land reform, and health programs put a defeated Japan on the road to recuperation, while providing a military shield that enabled Japan to focus on recovery from the War and rebuilding the country and economy. Perhaps its most enduring legacy was its Enlightenment-based, American-drafted, rights-oriented Constitution of 1947 [hereinafter “the Constitution”]. Drafted in English, the Constitution was promulgated in Japanese, resulting in some substantive changes. Among the most important of these were changing the English word “people” into the Japanese “kokumin” (Japanese citizens) and transmuting many definitive rights into more passive language.

First Page