Washington International Law Journal


Keigo Komamura


The most significant political issue facing the legal world in Japan is the drive for constitutional revision led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). This paper situates the revisionist movement within the context of postwar Japanese politics before drawing on theoretical literature in critical legal studies to analyze the LDP’s draft constituion to reveal the magnitude of the proposed changes and to assess the risk they pose to the rule of law in Japan. The paper argues that the proposed draft constitution eschews the languages of the current constitution like “a universal principle of mankind”, “individual”, or “ fruits of the age-old struggle of man to be free”, and forgoes the basic legal rationality in favor of a mythical narrative of national essence, thereby reducing law to the realm of politics and inhibiting the ability of the former to serve as a check against the latter.

First Page