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Constitution of Japan (Cherry, Plum, and Chrysanthemum)

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The Constitution of the Republic of Japan (Japanese: 大和民國憲法 Daiwa Minkoku Kenpō) is the fundamental law of Japan. It lays out the framework of the national and local government as well as the structure of the state and sets out the fundamental rights and duties of the citizens based on the principle of National Democracy. It was adopted by the National Congress of Japan on July 12, 1921, with further revisions in 1925, 1931, 1946, and 1953.

Declaration

We, the representatives of the Nation of Great Japan, sitting in the National Congress in its convocation on July 12, 1921 hereby promulgate this constitution as the fundamental and organic law of the Republic of Japan. Therefore, together with the Declaration of the Establishment of Republic of Japan in 1919, this present National Constitution of Republic of Japan shall be make the basic laws of our Nation. With the enactment of this said constitution, the Nation of Japan has formally replaces the Mandate of Heaven with the Mandate of People. That will be the duty for the new national government to carry out the present constitution in accordance with the will of the Nation.

Nagoya, July 12, 1921

Signed:

President of the Republic

NAGAYAMA Yoshida

Vice-President of the Republic

KITA Ikki

Countersigned:

Chairman of the Council of Ministers

INUKAI Tsuyoshi

Deputy-Chairman of the Council of Ministers

OZAKI Yukio

Deputy-Chairman of the Council of Ministers and concurrently Minister of Foreign Affairs

HAYASHI Kiroku

Deputy-Chairman of the Council of Ministers and concurrently Minister of Home Affairs

NAKANO Seigo

Minister of War Affairs

TAKABATAKE Motoyuki

Minister of Labor Affairs

SUZUKI Bunji

Minister of Agricultural Affairs

ARIMA Yoriyasu

Minister of Trade Affairs

KOIZUMI Matajiro

Preamble

The Japanese people, acting through its elected representatives in the National Congress, determined to promote the social progress and general welfare, to protect the people's livelihood, to protect the land of the ancestors, to enhance the national culture, to establish a national democratic society, to maintain the public order under the rule of law, to establish justice and to preserve peace at home and abroad by establish this following constitution.

Chapter I. The State

Article 1. The Republic of Japan is a republic with national-democratic system based on the teachings bequeathed by Nagayama Yoshida and Kita Ikki[1].

Article 2. The sovereignty of the Republic of Japan belongs to the people and shall be exercised through its representative organs - National Congress and local congresses at all levels.

Article 3. The territory of the Republic of Japan shall be consists of the Japanese Archipelago and other islands situated in Japanese waters that inhabited by the Japanese people.

Article 4. The flag of the Republic of Japan shall be a deep blue flag with an ear of rice inside of a white circle in the middle of the flag.

The anthem of the Republic of Japan shall be "Wagakuni"[2].

Chapter II. The Rights and Duties of the People

Article 5. The conditions necessary for being a Japanese national shall be determined by law.

Article 6. All citizens of the Republic of Japan shall be equal before the law without any discrimination because of race, class, gender, family background or religious belief[3].

Article 7. Every person may, according to qualifications determined in laws or ordinances, be appointed to civil or military offices equally, and many fill any other public offices.

Article 8. Every person shall have the freedom to choose and change his residence within the limits of the law.

Article 9. Every person shall have the freedom of speech, writing, publication, public meetings and associations within the limits of the law.

Article 10. Every person shall have the freedom to present petitions, by observing the proper forms of respect and by complying with the provisions of law.

Article 11. Every person shall have the freedom to exercise his religious belief within the limits of the law.

The State and its representative organs shall refrain from religious education or any other religious activity.

Article 12. Every person shall have the freedom to own or to hold property within the limits of the law.

Property rights shall be defined by law, in conformity with the public welfare.

Article 13. Every person shall be obligated to receive ordinary education as provided by the law.

Public schooling shall be free as guaranteed by the State[4].

Article 14. No person shall be arrested, detained, tried or punished, unless according to law.

Article 15. No person shall be denied the right of being tried by the judges determined by law.

Article 16. Every person shall have the right to access the public health service, social welfare program and national security service as provided by the State, unless according to law.

Article 17. Every person shall have the right and the obligation to work, unless according to law.

Article 18. Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent and cooperation of both genders.[5]

Marriages and the family shall be protected by the State, according to the provisions of law.

Article 19. Every person shall be obligated to serve in the national armed forces, according to the provisions of law.

Article 20. Every person shall have the duty to protect the State in the state of war or other national emergency cases.

No militia is allowed to be formed outside of the national armed forces.[6]

Article 21. Every person shall be liable to taxation, according to the provisions of law.

Chapter III. The National Congress

Article 21. The National Congress shall be the highest organ of state power.

Article 22. The National Congress shall have the sole authority to amend the Constitution.

Article 23. The National Congress shall be elected to serve for four years.

No state organ can dissolve the National Congress before the end of its office term.

Article 24. The National Congress shall consist of elected members that serves as the representative of the Nation.

The election method and number of the members of National Congress shall be fixed by law.

Article 25. Every law requires the consent of the National Congress.

Article 26. The National Congress shall be convoked every year.

Article 27. The National Government may convoke extraordinary sessions of the National Congress in the case of necessity

An extraordinary session of National Congress can only be convoked with the approval of two-third or more of all members of Legislative Council.

Article 28. No debate can be opened and no vote can be taken in the National Congress, unless one-third or more of total members is present.

Article 29. The National Congress shall select a presidium that consists of a speaker, four deputy-speakers and a secretary and establish the working committees.

Article 30. The National Congress shall establish its own rule regarding meetings, proceedings and internal discipline.

Article 31. The deliberations of National Congress shall be held in public. The deliberations may, however, upon demand of the Government or by resolution of the Legislative Council, be held in secret sitting.

Article 32. The National Congress shall elect the Legislative Council to exercise the law-making power when the National Congress is not in session.

Article 33. The Legislative Council shall be elected to serve for two years.

The election method and number of members of the Legislative Council shall be fixed by law.

Article 34. The Legislative Council shall vote upon legislative and budget bills submitted by the Government and may respectively initiate the bills.

Article 35. A legislative bill, which has been approved by the Legislative Council, need further approval of President of the Republic to be in effect.

A budget bill, which has been approved by the Legislative Council, need further approval of two-thirds or more of all members of National Congress to be in effect.

Article 36. A legislative or budget bill, which has been rejected by the Legislative Council, shall not be brought in again during the same session.

Article 37. No member of National Congress can be arrested or punished without the consent of the National Congress or, when it is not in session, without the consent of the Legislative Council, except for a flagrant offence.

Chapter IV. The National Government

Article 38. The National Government shall exercise the daily administration of the State.

Article 39. The National Government shall consist of the President of the Republic and the Council of Ministers.

Article 40. The President is the head of state of the Republic of Japan.

Article 41. The President determines the organization of the different branches of the administration with the consent of National Congress or the Legislative Council when the Congress in not in session.

Article 42. The President is the political commander of the national armed forces.

Article 43. The President is elected by the National Congress every four years and can be re-elected for another term.

Article 44. The President shall be elected from and among of the members of National Congress.

Article 45. The President can be impeached before the end of his term only with the approval of three-fourth of all members of National Congress.

Article 46. The President declares war, makes peace and concludes treaties with foreign powers with the consent of National Congress.

Article 47. The President receives credentials from the ambassadors with the consent of Legislative Council[7].

Article 48. The President proclaims the martial law.

The conditions and effects of the martial law shall be determined by law.

Article 49. The President confers rank, orders, decorations and other marks of honor with the consent of Legislative Council[8].

Article 50. The President orders amnesty, clemency, commutation of punishments and rehabilitation with the consent of Legislative Council.

Article 51. The President shall not casting his vote during any session of National Congress unless in the case of a tie vote.

Article 52. In the case of death, resignation or impeachment of the President before the end of term, the Speaker of National Congress may acts as a provisional head state until the term is ended.

Article 53. The Council of Ministers shall consist of a chairman, three deputy-chairmen, Ministers of State and other head of state organs.

Article 54. The Council of Ministers shall be elected by the National Congress to serve for four years.

Article 55. The chairman and at least one deputy-chairman of Council of Ministers shall be from and among the members of National Congress.

Article 56. The composition of Council of Ministers shall be brought upon by the President of the Republic before the voting in the National Congress.

Article 57. The members of Council of Ministers and the Delegates of the Government that not being part of National Congress may, at any time, take seats and speak in the National Congress and Legislative Council.

Article 58. Any member of Council of Ministers shall be dismissed by the President of the Republic if there is a new candidate for the office that had been approved by two-third of all members of National Congress[9].

Article 59. The State Council shall be formed to deliberate upon important matters of State with the National Government.

Article 60. The State Council shall be elected to serve for four years.

The composition, election method and number of the members of State Council shall be fixed by law.

Article 61. The State Council shall routinely held a consultative meeting with the Legislative Council to discuss upon important matters of State according to the provisions of law.

Chapter V. Judiciary

Article 62. The judiciary shall be exercised by the National Court and local courts at all levels according to law in the name of the people.

Article 63. The judiciary shall be composed of those judges appointed by the National Congress and local congress at all levels.

The organization of the National Court and local courts shall be determined by law.

Article 64. The judges serving in the National Court are appointed for lifetime.

The judges serving in the local courts are appointed every eight years.

Article 65. The judges shall be appointed from among those who possess proper qualifications according to law.

Article 66. No judge shall be deprived of his position unless by way of criminal sentence, mentally or physically incompetent to perform proper duties or disciplinary punishment.

Rules for disciplinary punishment shall be determined by law.

Article 67. Trials and judgments of a court shall be conducted publicly. When, however, there exists any fear that, such publicity may be prejudicial to peace and order, or to the maintenance of public morality, the public trial may be suspended by provisions of law or by the decision of the court.

Article 68. The supervision of the observance of the law shall be exercised by the National Procuratorate and local procuratorates at all levels[10].

The public procurators shall be subject to the rule-making power of the judiciary[11].

Article 69. The public procurators are appointed by the National Congress and local congress at all levels every four years[12].

The organization of the National Procuratorate and local procuratorates shall be determined by law[13].

Chapter VI. Local Self-Government

Article 70. The administrative division of the Republic of Japan shall be comprised of autonomous and non-autonomous regions[14].

Article 71. Only autonomous region that shall exercise local self-government[15].

Non-autonomous region shall be formed only ceremonially according to local traditions[16].

Article 72. The country shall be divided into non-autonomous insular region, non-autonomous circuit and autonomous provinces at first level[17].

The autonomous provinces shall be divided into non-autonomous districts, autonomous cities and autonomous villages at second level[18].

Article 73. Local congresses shall exercise the function as the local organs of state power in every autonomous regions[19].

The organization, election method and number of the members of local congresses shall be fixed by law[20].

Article 74. Every autonomous regions shall have the right to manage their property, affairs and administration and to enact their own regulations within law[21].

Article 75. Regulations concerning organization and operations of autonomous regions shall be fixed by law in accordance with the principle of local autonomy[22].

Chapter VII. Supplementary Provisions

Notes

  1. Revised by 1953 Amendment. Original line: "The Republic of Japan shall be a republic with national-democratic system".
  2. Added by 1946 Amendment.
  3. Revised twice by 1925 and 1946 Amendments. Original line: "All citizens of the Republic of Japan shall be equal before the law without any discrimination because of race, class or religious belief"; 1925 line: "All citizens of the Republic of Japan shall be equal before the law without any discrimination because of race, class, gender or religious belief"
  4. Added by 1925 Amendment.
  5. Added by 1925 Amendment
  6. Added by 1925 Amendment
  7. Revised by 1946 Amendment. Original line: "The President receives credentials from the ambassadors.
  8. Revised by 1946 Amendment. Original line: "The President confers rank, orders, decorations and other marks of honor"
  9. Revised by 1946 Amendment. Original line: "Any member of Council of Ministers can be dismissed by the President of the Republic with the consent of the National Congress".
  10. Added by 1946 Amendment.
  11. Added by 1946 Amendment.
  12. Added by 1946 Amendment.
  13. Added by 1946 Amendment.
  14. Added by 1946 Amendment.
  15. Added by 1946 Amendment.
  16. Added by 1946 Amendment.
  17. Added by 1946 Amendment.
  18. Added by 1946 Amendment.
  19. Added by 1946 Amendment.
  20. Added by 1946 Amendment.
  21. Added by 1953 Amendment.
  22. Added by 1946 Amendment as Article 74. Revised by 1953 Amendment as Article 75.

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