Outline of a new “National Constitution of Japan” by The Sankei Shimbun (English version)
The Sankei Shimbun is pleased to announce an English translation of key sections of its outline for a new “National Constitution of Japan.” Released on April 30, the translated sections include the Preamble, Chapter 1 ”The Emperor”, Chapter 2 ”Structure of the State”, Chapter 3” National Defense”, Chapter 11 ”State of Emergency” and Chapter 12 ”Amendments.” The original Japanese version, published in April, 2013, encompasses 12 chapters and 117 articles.
Recent initiatives of the Abe administration to seek revision of the existing constitution and to and change interpretation of some of its provisions, especially the right to exercise collective self-defense, have attracted attention from overseas. Therefore, emphasis was placed on the translation of topics such as national security and the character of the nation.
Provisions such as the creation and retention of armed forces to maintain peace and the power and authority of the prime minister during a national emergency are embodied in constitutions of other countries but were omitted from the existing Constitution of Japan when it was drafted more than 60 years ago. It is hoped that the release of this English translation will provide the audience a sense of the “global standards” to which Japan aspires as this debate continues.
The Sankei Shimbun organized a drafting committee for this project consisting of five members, chaired by Tadae Takubo, Professor Emeritus of Kyorin University. The committee has held 27 meetings since March, 2012 for the purpose of drafting, debating and finalizing the proposed outline of a new “National Constitution of Japan.”