Washington Law Review


Translator's Note: On July 19, 1963, at the 114th plenary session of the Commission on the Constitution, the late Professor Kenzo Takayanagi, its chairman, submitted a long opinion on constitutional problems. It was published as a 76-page appendix to the minutes of that session. The opinion was organized into nine sections: General Problems (an evaluation of the process of enactment, constitutional revision, constitutional interpretation, and the written style of the Constitution totalling 8 pages); The Emperor (7 pages); The Renunciation of War (9 pages); The Rule of Law (24 pages); The Parliamentary Cabinet System (19 pages); Finances (3 pages); Local Autonomy (4 pages); Amendment (2 pages); and The Supreme Law (1 page). It is not misleading to describe the opinion as a blend of an article-by-article commentary on the Constitution and a discussion of virtually every question raised about the Constitution in the proceedings of the Commission from the summer of 1957 to the spring of 1963. I have here selected the section on the rule of law because it deals with a central issue of Japan's constitutionalism, contains clear statements of the anti-revisionist position on a number of critical prablems involved in the debate over revision, and sheds considerable light on Professor Takayanagi's views as a constitutional and legal scholar. In a brief note preceding a reprint of the opinion in an intellectual journa (46 Jiyu 76, 1963) Professor Takayanagi states that he wrote it in the space of three weeks between his release from a six-month stay in the hospital and the Commission meeting at which it was presented. He added that his opinion was simply the private view of a Commission member, not a declaration issued in his capacity as Chairman.

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