Washington Law Review


On June 11, 1956, the Commission on the Constitution was created. Its duties, as laid down by the enacting statute, were "to examine the Constitution of Japan, to investigate and deliberate on problems related thereto, and to report the results to the Cabinet and through the Cabinet to the National Diet." When the work of the Commission on the Constitution was approaching an end in 1964, there was informal talk about attempting an English translation of at least the Final Report. For a variety of reasons, this idea failed to materialize. However, there have been at least two excellent articles written by American scholars on the Commission. This paper will deal with some aspects of the Commission's work. It will also include some conclusions that I have drawn from the work of the Commission. In contrast to the well documented articles mentioned above, I have elected to write an informal essay in memoir form. First, I will describe how I came to be a member and later Chairman of the Commission. Then follows a description of the basic policies adopted by the Commission to govern the conduct of its investigations and deliberations. Some comparisons are made with the policies of the British Royal Commissions. The major portion of my discussion will deal with the issue whether the Constitution was imposed by force upon Japan by the Allied Powers. As will be seen, I have concluded that there was no such imposition. I will explain in detail my "collaborative theory" which was presented for the first time in my Opinions on Some Constitutional Problems. I will conclude with discussion of a narrow issue: that concerning Article 9 of the Constitution. It is also my view that Article 9 was not imposed upon Japan. Finally, I will set forth my "political manifesto" interpretation of this article.

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