Constitution of Japan

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All of the people are equal under the law and there shall be no discrimination in political, economic or social relations because of race, creed, sex, social status or family origin. The people have the inalienable right to choose their public officials and to dismiss them.

A voter shall not be answerable, publicly or privately, for the choice he has made. Every person shall have the right of peaceful petition for the redress of damage, for the removal of public officials, for the enactment, repeal or amendment of laws, ordinances or regulations and for other matters; nor shall any person be in any way discriminated against for sponsoring such a petition.

Every person may sue for redress as provided by law from the State or a public entity, in case he has suffered damage through illegal act of any public official. No person shall be held in bondage of any kind. Involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime, is prohibited. Freedom of thought and conscience shall not be violated.

Freedom of religion is guaranteed to all. No religious organization shall receive any privileges from the State, nor exercise any political authority. Freedom of assembly and association as well as speech, press and all other forms of expression are guaranteed.

Every person shall have freedom to choose and change his residence and to choose his occupation to the extent that it does not interfere with the public welfare. Academic freedom is guaranteed. Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes and it shall be maintained through mutual cooperation with the equal rights of husband and wife as a basis.

All people shall have the right to maintain the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living. All people shall have the right to receive an equal education correspondent to their ability, as provided by law.

Japan's Postwar Constitution

Such compulsory education shall be free. All people shall have the right and the obligation to work. The right of workers to organize and to bargain and act collectively is guaranteed. The right to own or to hold property is inviolable. The people shall be liable to taxation as provided by law. No person shall be deprived of life or liberty, nor shall any other criminal penalty be imposed, except according to procedure established by law.

No person shall be denied the right of access to the courts. No person shall be apprehended except upon warrant issued by a competent judicial officer which specifies the offense with which the person is charged, unless he is apprehended, the offense being committed. No person shall be arrested or detained without being at once informed of the charges against him or without the immediate privilege of counsel; nor shall he be detained without adequate cause; and upon demand of any person such cause must be immediately shown in open court in his presence and the presence of his counsel.

The right of all persons to be secure in their homes, papers and effects against entries, searches and seizures shall not be impaired except upon warrant issued for adequate cause and particularly describing the place to be searched and things to be seized, or except as provided by Article The infliction of torture by any public officer and cruel punishments are absolutely forbidden.

In all criminal cases the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial tribunal. No person shall be compelled to testify against himself. No person shall be held criminally liable for an act which was lawful at the time it was committed, or of which he has been acquitted, nor shall he be placed in double jeopardy.

Abe pushes for serious debate on constitution as Diet session begins - Japan Today

Any person, in case he is acquitted after he has been arrested or detained, may sue the State for redress as provided by law. Chapter IV. The Diet Article The Diet shall be the highest organ of state power, and shall be the sole law-making organ of the State. Both Houses shall consist of elected members, representative of all the people. The qualifications of members of both Houses and their electors shall be fixed by law. However, there shall be no discrimination because of race, creed, sex, social status, family origin, education, property or income.

The term of office of members of the House of Representatives shall be four years.

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However, the term shall be terminated before the full term is up in case the House of Representatives is dissolved. The term of office of members of the House of Councillors shall be six years, and election for half the members shall take place every three years. Electoral districts, method of voting and other matters pertaining to the method of election of members of both Houses shall be fixed by law. No person shall be permitted to be a member of both Houses simultaneously. Members of both Houses shall receive appropriate annual payment from the national treasury in accordance with law.

Except in cases provided by law, members of both Houses shall be exempt from apprehension while the Diet is in session, and any members apprehended before the opening of the session shall be freed during the term of the session upon demand of the House.

Members of both Houses shall not be held liable outside the House for speeches, debates or votes cast inside the House. An ordinary session of the Diet shall be convoked once per year. The Cabinet may determine to convoke extraordinary sessions of the Diet. When a quarter or more of the total members of either House makes the demand, the Cabinet must determine on such convocation. When the House of Representatives is dissolved, there must be a general election of members of the House of Representatives within forty 40 days from the date of dissolution, and the Diet must be convoked within thirty 30 days from the date of the election.

However, the Cabinet may in time of national emergency convoke the House of Councillors in emergency session.

On the Revision of the Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan

Each House shall judge disputes related to qualifications of its members. However, in order to deny a seat to any member, it is necessary to pass a resolution by a majority of two-thirds or more of the members present. Business cannot be transacted in either House unless one-third or more of total membership is present. Deliberation in each House shall be public. However, a secret meeting may be held where a majority of two-thirds or more of those members present passes a resolution therefor.

This record shall be published and given general circulation, excepting such parts of proceedings of secret session as may be deemed to require secrecy.


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Each House shall select its own president and other officials. However, in order to expel a member, a majority of two-thirds or more of those members present must pass a resolution thereon. A bill becomes a law on passage by both Houses, except as otherwise provided by the Constitution. The budget must first be submitted to the House of Representatives.

The second paragraph of the preceding article applies also to the Diet approval required for the conclusion of treaties. Each House may conduct investigations in relation to government, and may demand the presence and testimony of witnesses, and the production of records. The Prime Minister and other Ministers of State may, at any time, appear in either House for the purpose of speaking on bills, regardless of whether they are members of the House or not. They must appear when their presence is required in order to give answers or explanations.

The Diet shall set up an impeachment court from among the members of both Houses for the purpose of trying those judges against whom removal proceedings have been instituted. Chapter V. The Cabinet Article Executive power shall be vested in the Cabinet. The Cabinet shall consist of the Prime Minister, who shall be its head, and other Ministers of State, as provided for by law.

A Contextual Analysis

The Prime Minister shall be designated from among the members of the Diet by a resolution of the Diet. This designation shall precede all other business. The Prime Minister shall appoint the Ministers of State. However, a majority of their number must be chosen from among the members of the Diet. If the House of Representatives passes a non-confidence resolution, or rejects a confidence resolution, the Cabinet shall resign en masse, unless the House of Representatives is dissolved within ten 10 days.

When there is a vacancy in the post of Prime Minister, or upon the first convocation of the Diet after a general election of members of the House of Representatives, the Cabinet shall resign en masse. In the cases mentioned in the two preceding articles, the Cabinet shall continue its functions until the time when a new Prime Minister is appointed.

The Prime Minister, representing the Cabinet, submits bills, reports on general national affairs and foreign relations to the Diet and exercises control and supervision over various administrative branches. The Cabinet, in addition to other general administrative functions, shall perform the following functions: Administer the law faithfully; conduct affairs of state. Manage foreign affairs. Conclude treaties.